DrSmile is hoping to expand its clear aligner business—it currently operates through a network of 50 partner dental clinics in Germany and Austria. (Image: kuzen cem/Shutterstock)
Straumann invests in clear aligner provider DrSmile
BASEL, Switzerland: The Straumann Group has put its support behind clinician-led clear aligner therapy by acquiring a majority share in Berlin-based DrSmile. Straumann has committed to additional investment in DrSmile and says that, together, the two companies will offer growth opportunities to partner dentists.
In a press release, Straumann explained that, in return for an initial purchase consideration, it will receive a majority stake in the clear aligner company. The group has committed to further financing DrSmile’s growth and to a full acquisition in the future. The parties have also agreed on a mechanism for buying and selling the remaining stake in DrSmile.
DrSmile will remain a stand-alone business entity and will continue to be led by its co-founders, Jens Urbaniak and Christopher von Wedemeyer. Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, were not disclosed.
Guillaume Daniellot, CEO of the Straumann Group, explained the group’s motivation behind the investment: “DrSmile is an entrepreneurial, innovative company that complements our clear aligner business with valuable [direct-to-consumer] marketing expertise. Together, we will offer dentists significant opportunities to grow their practices through additional channels and, importantly, we will provide convenient, clinically based, quality treatment to patients.”
DrSmile was founded in 2017, when Urbaniak and Wedemeyer decided to engage emerging technical innovations in dentistry in order to improve clear aligner treatment. Using 3D printing and digital workflows, the company provides clinicians with a proprietary digital platform that it says helps to make tooth movement faster and more predictable.
The company has an integrated network of around 50 dental clinics and currently offers clear aligner treatment to consumers in Germany and Austria. It employs around 200 staff members at its headquarters in Berlin and has its sights set on expansion into other European markets.
According to the press release, the global market for clear aligners has grown by an average of at least 20% over the past three years and is increasingly driven by direct-to-consumer marketing and the provision of online services.