A Mexico City-based startup has secured US $5 million in financing to expand its chain of dental clinics.
Specializing in clear aligners – plastic orthodontic devices that provide an alternative to metal dental braces – the company Moons has received funds from Jaguar Venture, Foundation Capital and Tuesday Capital as well as individual investors in Latin America.
Now, Moons is aiming to attract even more funding by participating in a program run by Y Combinator (YC), a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator.
Moons co-founder and CEO Tommaso Tomba told the technology news website TechCrunch that the company applied to the program because of YC’s access to capital and ability to open doors in the United States.
“In Latin America access to capital to build longlasting companies is still relatively limited compared to the U.S., so we think it makes sense to YC [to include us in their program] so that they can help us with investors and attracting talent going forward,” he said.
Moons already has 18 clinics in Mexico and two in Colombia but the company plans to expand rapidly in the latter country and open clinics in other Latin American nations, Tomba said.
He explained that the company offers free initial consultations at which orthodontists examine patients’ teeth to determine if they are good candidates for clear aligners.
For a suitable individual, Moons can develop a treatment plan and consultation schedule, and provide the patient with a 3-D printed aligner for about US $1,200.
The price is far lower than that offered by other clear aligner vendors, Tomba said, adding that Moons is providing treatment to more patients in Mexico than its U.S.-based competitor Invisalign.
The co-founder said that he decided to base the company in Mexico partly because of the high demand for aligners and partly because he had experience in the country as an employee of Linio, an online shopping platform.
Tomba added that Moons has ambitions to move beyond the dental market, explaining “we plan to go into other healthcare verticals – always with the core tenet of providing high-quality healthcare and making it accessible.”
Source: TechCrunch (en)