- Quip, the oral care company behind the Instagram-famous toothbrush, promises even more products and services in the professional dental care market in the next 9 months.
- CEO Simon Enever would not give specifics, but he said he wants to see Quip’s name become a symbol of consumer trust at the dental office.
- It’s not hard to imagine Quip going after SmileDirectClub, whose custom teeth-straightening trays brought in $423.2 million in revenue in 2018.
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Fans of the influencer toothbrush have something to smile about.
Quip , the direct-to-consumer oral care company whose pastel-colored ads you probably know from Instagram, is moving beyond the medicine cabinet. The company’s $40 toothbrush, toothpaste, and newly debuted floss dispenser have earned it a strong millennial following since its founding in 2015. Now, Quip is expanding into professional care, with plans for “multiple launches” next year, says its chief executive, Simon Enever.
“We really are trying to be your full-service oral care companion,” Enever said on the phone, calling from his startup’s office in Brooklyn. “For us that means that on the personal care product side, we want to fill out those core daily habits (like brushing and flossing) that are so important to your oral care. And on the professional care side, there’s a lot more that we want to be able to help individuals with.”
He would not give specifics, saying that the spokeswoman on the line would not be pleased. It’s not hard to imagine Quip entering the teeth-whitening or teeth-straightening arena, following the commercial success of online dentistry company, SmileDirectClub. It booked $423.2 million in revenue in 2018, though its losses were also substantial. SmileDirectClub lets customers take impressions of their teeth at home and ship the custom aligners to their door.
SmileDirectClub’s initial public offering got a chilly response in September. The stock is trading well below its IPO price of $23, as dental organizations lob criticism against its at-home approach.
Enever has taken on titans of consumer packaged goods before.
In 2009, the industrial designer took a consulting gig with Hearst to help create a touchscreen tablet for reading its magazines. It made a splash at the CES trade show that year, but the publisher killed the project after Apple debuted the iPad only weeks later.
Enever and his cofounder, Bill May, who he met working on the e-reader, then set out to bring ease and high design to the oral care market. They started with an electric toothbrush so sleek, it looked not out of place on Instagram feeds. Quip said it’s sold more than 1 million units. The company’s starter kit, which includes the toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss dispenser, sells for $55 online.
In 2018, Quip bought a startup called Afora with ambitions to offer an “insurance alternative.” Quipcare has two dental care plans — one as a supplement to the member’s dental plan, and one for the uninsured — that lets them book services through an app and view prices before their visit. It’s only available in New York for now.
Quip’s offerings will expand rapidly over the next 3 to 9 months, Enever said. The hope is that a consumer who checks out a product or service at her dentist’s office and sees Quip’s branding believes it’s an offering she can trust.
“We absolutely want to help patients have full confidence,” Enever said.