Klar Smile, an oral wellness startup in Indonesia, announced that it raised a US$4.5 million pre-series A funding round co-led by East Ventures and AC Ventures. Other participating investors included Venturra Discovery, and several angel investors.
According to the startup, the fresh funding will be used to grow its presence nationwide. This largely includes educating consumers about the importance of oral wellness and rolling out complementary product offerings. Klar Smile’s aim is to offer holistic, aesthetic, and functional dental treatments for its patients.
The startup manufactures clear orthodontics aligners in-house. Treatment plans are developed by experienced orthodontists and every set is tailor-made to suit each patient’s needs.
Within its first year of operating, Klar Smile claims to already have a firm grasp of the Indonesian market. It has partnered with more than 1,000 dentists and orthodontists throughout the archipelago. It is now present in more than 800 dental clinics across every province in the country, effectively making orthodontics aligner treatment accessible to the entire 275 million population of Indonesia.
Through the Klar Smile mobile app, dentists and patients can interact and monitor treatment progress remotely. This unique user experience improves convenience and eliminates friction, as it reduces the patient’s number of visits to their clinic, as well as time spent on periodic check-ups.
Klar Smile’s founding team is a unique combination of heavy hitters in the dental and brand-building arenas.
Ellen Pranata leads the company as CEO. She is a former McKinsey consultant and former director of Cobra Dental, one of Indonesia’s largest importers and suppliers of dental equipment and materials. Drg. Adelia Susanto, MM, Sp.Ort., Klar Smile’s Chief Orthodontist and Head of R&D, is a reputable practitioner with years of experience in clear aligner treatment tech. Drg Adelia is also a certified member of various national and international orthodontist associations, such as the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Academy of Clear Aligners. Drg David Sugihartana, MM, Sp.Pros, Chief Operating Officer, leads manufacturing and is highly experienced in prosthetics, aesthetics, and full-mouth rehabilitations. He is an active member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the International Team of Implantology.
Chief Commercial Officer Krisna Murti is a beauty and personal care brand-builder, with a professional background from Procter & Gamble, Nestle Skin Health, and Shiseido. Krisna is P&G Southeast Asia’s former Market Strategy and Planning manager for hair care, overseeing Pantene, H&S, Rejoice, and Clairol. He successfully launched the Cetaphil brand in Indonesia and is behind the exponential growth of Senka and Anessa.
To ensure effectiveness, Klar Smile believes that aligner solutions require intense collaborative efforts with dentist communities, particularly those in orthodontics. This is the reason the startup is actively working with groups like the Indonesian Dentist Association (PDGI) and the Indonesian Orthodontics Association (IKORTI), participating in more than 50 dentist community events annually. Further, the startup was the only Indonesian clear aligner player to join a highly prestigious orthodontics event, the 2022 International Association for Orthodontics Symposium in Bali.
“As an early champion for this startup, we believe that KLAR Smile offers a practical, innovative solution that millions of locals want and need,” explained Michael Soerijadji, founder and managing partner of AC Ventures. “We believe in Indonesia’s market potential for oral wellness and the founding team continues to impress us with their depth of understanding and ability to execute.”
“We are glad to welcome Klar Smile into part of East Ventures’ family. Oral wellness leads to overall health, and we believe solutions provided by Klar Smile will bring more positive impacts in revolutionizing the overall wellness and health of Indonesian,” said Melisa Irene, Partner of East Ventures.
Klar Smile has also appointed prominent Indonesian pop singer and actress Maudy Ayunda as its official brand ambassador. The Oxford and Stanford University alumnus has become one of the thousands of happy Klar Smile users.
Maudy testifies to the brilliance of the company’s aligner effectiveness and performance. Passionate about education and social advancements for her fellow Indonesians, Maudy believes that a perfect smile can help to generate confidence and thus open up opportunities. Eloquent in her brevity, Maudy said, “Smile, because confidence needs something to wear.”
The partnership with Maudy Ayunda is also one of the startup’s strategic moves in moving beyond just being an aligner manufacturing company. Klar Smile aims to establish a smile care routine category – a whole new segment of Indonesian oral wellness that fuses dentist expertise and the simplicity of at-home oral care products for a pleasant oral care routine with visible results. A range of innovative and breakthrough direct-to-consumer oral care products are expected to be launched by the end of the year.