LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 29, 2013) - Brighter (www.brighter.com), the simple, free alternative to dental insurance, today announced that it closed $15 million in Series C funding to further accelerate the geographic expansion of the company's service.
The Series C financing was led by Tenaya Capital and included existing investors Mayfield Fund and Benchmark. The proceeds from the financing will be used to expand Brighter's services into new markets across the U.S. Brighter's mission is to make quality dental care affordable and accessible to everyone through its marketplace. With this financing, Brighter has raised a total of $28 million.
"Only 36 percent of all adults visit the dentist in a year because it is increasingly difficult for Americans to afford the dental care they need," said Jake Winebaum, CEO and Founder of Brighter. "With this additional funding, we will now be able to help give patients access to affordable care at great dentists across the country."
Stewart Gollmer, managing director at Tenaya Capital, will join Brighter's Board of Directors. Tenaya Capital, a leading venture capital firm with a history of investing in disruptive and category-leading companies, believes Brighter is not only the future of the dental industry, but is also setting the example for how to use marketplaces and technology to reduce overall healthcare costs.
"Technology companies like Brighter are quickly taking the lead in helping patients become smarter healthcare consumers," notes Gollmer. "Brighter is flipping the dental insurance model on its head by creating a marketplace where dentists compete for patients based on price, quality and convenience. We believe this is how healthcare should work, and are excited to invest in Brighter and support its remarkable team spearheading this transformation."
Sitting alongside Gollmer on Brighter's seasoned Board of Directors are Navin Chaddha, managing director of Mayfield Fund; Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark; Matt Coffin, former CEO and founder of LowerMyBills.com; and Jason Kilar, former CEO and founder of Hulu.
Mayfield Fund, led by Chaddha, has partnered with Winebaum since the company's initial seed round of funding. They have invested in consumer healthcare companies such as Healthtap and marketplaces including Lyft/ridesharing, Poshmark/fashion and Matrimony.com (India)/matrimony. Benchmark -- and Gurley who led the investment in Brighter -- have backed numerous successful marketplaces that have reached significant scale including eBay, OpenTable, Yelp, Zillow, oDesk, GrubHub, 1stdibs, and Uber.
Brighter has achieved substantial growth since its innovative new service launched in June of this year, adding over 600 top local dentists to its network in LA County alone as well as several thousand Brighter members.
Currently, 47 percent of Americans lack dental insurance and must purchase their dental care without the benefit of any price transparency or negotiating leverage. To combat the number one reason people cited for not visiting the dentist regularly -- affordability -- Brighter pre-negotiates the rates of over 500 procedures at its carefully vetted and pre-approved dentists to save members an average of 50 percent on their dental costs (and even up to 70 percent on preventive procedures such as cleanings). The service provides comprehensive profiles on its dentists including: dentists' education and credentials, office amenities, patient reviews, appointment schedules, price (both typical uninsured prices and exclusive Brighter prices), as well as videos and photos.
To learn more about Brighter, visit www.brighter.com or call 888.230.4717.
Brighter (www.brighter.com) is the first simple, free alternative to dental insurance, offering an unmatched level of price and quality transparency and savings. The service, which started in the Los Angeles region, provides self-pay patients free access to pre-negotiated prices at top local dentists, resulting in average savings of more than 50 percent. Founded by Internet entrepreneur Jake Winebaum, the service is backed by some of the world's most respected investors including Mayfield Fund, Benchmark and Tenaya Capital.
About Tenaya Capital
Tenaya Capital is a leading venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. The firm invests in high-growth technology companies in the enterprise software, consumer Internet, IT infrastructure, communications and electronics sectors. Tenaya Capital is currently investing out of Tenaya Capital VI. The firm has offices in Portola Valley, California, and Wellesley, Massachusetts. For more information, visit http://www.tenayacapital.com.
About Mayfield Fund
Mayfield Fund is a global early-stage venture capital firm with over $3 billion under management. During its 44-year history, the Firm has invested in over 500 companies, 111 of which have gone public and over 150 have merged or been acquired. The Firm is currently deploying Mayfield XIV, a $365 million U.S. fund; Mayfield India I, a $110 million dedicated India fund; and partners with GSR Ventures to invest in China. Mayfield invests in the mobile, cloud/SaaS, social, and big data areas. Recent successes include Marketo (
Benchmark believes that great entrepreneurs change the world for the better. The venture capital firm focuses on early-stage companies in the areas of mobile, social and cloud computing. Benchmark is comprised of six equal general partners who take a hands-on approach to every business decision. Benchmark's portfolio includes companies like Twitter, Dropbox, Asana, and Uber; recent exits such as Bytemobile, Gaikai, Demandforce, Instagram, OpenTable, Yelp, and Zillow; and market leaders like eBay, Juniper Networks, MySQL, and Red Hat. Benchmark has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit www.benchmark.com.