Quip, a subscription-based electric toothbrush startup, has raised a $10 million series A round of funding from early Airbnb and Uber investor Sherpa Capital, Kal Vepuri’s Brainchild fund, Blue Scorpion VC, and Demi Lovato and Eric Grosgogeat, among other investors from the “fashion, entertainment, and oral care industries.”
Founded out of New York in 2012 by industrial designers Simon Enever and Bill May, Quip — not to be confused with the word-processing app of the same name acquired by Salesforce last year — is one of a number of subscription startups focused on personal health care and hygiene. Last year, for example, Unilever acquired on-demand toiletry service Dollar Shave Club for around $1 billion, while health- and beauty-focused Birchbox is reportedly in talks to be acquired by some big-name retailers.
Quip’s raison d’être is oral care, with a number of subscription and prepay plans that constitute funky electric and manual toothbrushes, toothpaste, covers and mounts, and replacement heads.
Prior to now, Quip had raised around $2.2 million in outside funding, and with its latest cash injection the company plans to double down on its efforts to “revolutionize” oral care through an “integrated suite of design-driven everyday products,” according to a statement issued by the company.
In real terms, this will involve expanding its current offering into new hardware, including more personalization options for its modular electric toothbrush. The company also confirmed that it will expand beyond “just toothbrushes and toothpaste” to help its members with their daily oral care product needs, while looking to grow its Dental Connect platform that links its members with professional advice and services. Currently in beta, Dental Connect offers a network of 10,000 dental care providers across the U.S., with members receiving check-up reminders through the platform. Dentists are also able to target new customers through the network.
“Good oral care is one of the most important aspects of overall health, yet most people see it as a chore, or have been led to believe that great care is only accessible to those that can afford expensive products or services,” noted Quip CEO Simon Enever. “This has led to the average person skipping the simple preventative habits that have by far the biggest impact on their health. With Quip, we are building a service that makes all aspects of oral care — from everyday products to dental check-ups — more affordable, enjoyable, and, ultimately, more effective.””
After launching in 2015, Quip said that it notched up 100,000 sales in its first year, and although it’s still based entirely in the U.S., the company ships its products globally.