Original post by e27
KLAR, an aesthetic dentistry technology startup in Indonesia, has closed a seed round of investment led by early-stage local investor AC Ventures.
Kenangan Fund, an early-stage VC firm formed by Kopi Kenangan founders, also participated.
The startup plans to use the funding for R&D development, expand its team, and to venture into complementary product offerings to offer a holistic aesthetic and functional dental treatment for patients.
The 20-strong team aims to grow its talent pool to at least 80 people this year.
“This funding is the first step to grow KLAR further and achieve all of our goals when we decided to establish this startup. We see more and more patients who want to have healthy teeth and an attractive smile to increase their confidence. However, they prefer a comfortable process without compromising on the aesthetics factor,” said Ellen Pranata, CEO and Co-Founder of KLAR.
Launched in September 2020, KLAR combines cutting-edge technology with orthodontic expertise to create a modern ultra-clear aligner. The company claims these aligners are comfortable to wear and can improve teeth aesthetics and alignment without the use of braces.
Currently, KLAR has partnered with 600+ dentists and orthodontists throughout the archipelago. The firm is now present in more than 100 dental clinics across 32 cities. Jakarta, Bali, and Surabaya are its key cities.
The startup follows a B2B2C business model: it provides high-tech aligner technology to partnering dentists, which they can use to complement their dental services to patients. Both dentists and patients can also interact and monitor treatment progress remotely with KLAR’s mobile app, KLAR Smile. This reduces the number of visits and time spent on periodic check-ups.
KLAR manages everything in-house, including owning the manufacturing facility for KLAR aligner production. With this approach, KLAR says it can maintain control over quality and push down production costs.
The aligners were developed by experienced orthodontists, and each set is tailor-made to suit each patient’s needs.
“KLAR is trying to solve the existing problems with better, more affordable, and more convenient solutions. Backed by a solid founding team and strong industry network, we believe KLAR has the ingredients required to come out as a winner in a large and growing market of dental aesthetics in Indonesia. Moreover, the good market for aligners is north of US$3 billion. With growing GDP per capita and increasing interest in self-care and aesthetics, we are confident that the demand for aligners will continue to grow,” said Michael Soerijadji, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of AC Ventures.
KLAR’s founders are heavyweights in the dental space. Ellen Pranata (COO) is a former director of Cobra Dental, one of Indonesia’s largest importers and retailers of dental equipment and materials. Adelia Susanto (chief orthodontist) is a practicing orthodontist with years of experience in clear aligners treatment technology. David Sugihartana (COO) is highly skilled in prosthetics, aesthetics, and full mouth rehabilitations.
Dental aesthetics is a fast-growing industry in Southeast Asia. Recently, Singapore-based direct-to-consumer dental products startup Zenyum secured a US$40 million Series B funding round led by L Catterton.
Structo is another startup, which offers dental 3D printing solutions startup. In 2019, the startup closed a round of funding from EDBI, GGV Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Pavilion Capital.