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SmileDirectClub sets price at $ 23 for initial public offering



Online dentistry startup SmileDirectClub is set to go public with a price set at $ 23 per share, a buck higher than the company had previously proposed.

The 58.5 million shares are set to raise $ 1.3 billion for SmileDirectClub as it begins trading on the Nasdaq later today under the symbol “SDC.”

SmileDirectClub sells custom clear orthodontic aligners that shift crooked or out-of-place teeth. After visiting one of the sites more than 300 locations for a 3-D imaging session or using an at-home impression kit, each set of aligners shifts a customer's teeth closer. SmileDirectClub said it takes an average of six months for teeth to reach the desired position.

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Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman founded the Nashville-based SmileDirectClub in 201

4. The company had $ 423 million in revenue last year, compared to $ 145 million the year before. It took a net loss of $ 74 million last year, up from $ 32 million the year before, as its spending on marketing and other expenses rose sharply.

A SmileDirectClub subscription starts at $ 1,895, which it said is much less costly than traditional orthodontic models. Its service also requires no in-person visits.

The company has the endorsement of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who is both a customer and a stakeholder in the business. After wearing braces for five years and breaking a retainer, he eventually ended up with SmileDirectClub to straighten his teeth.

"It's easy to just grab it and go and then I can change on the road," he said in a promotional video . "I did photoshoots with my liners in – you can't see them."

The company said it had more than 700,000 customers and it represents more than 95 percent of the doctor-directed al-home clear aligner industry. SmileDirectClub also said it has a lot of room to grow in the U.S. and world orthodontics markets, which it valued at $ 945 billion.

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