- The digital health company SmileDirectClub started trading on Thursday under the ticker SDC.
- The stock tumbled below $20 after SmileDirectClub priced its shares at $23 apiece on Wednesday night.
- SmileDirectClub was valued at $8.9 billion ahead of its first day of trading.
- SmileDirectClub’s offering is part of a wave of digital health companies entering the public markets after a three-year drought.
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The digital health company SmileDirectClub tumbled in its trading debut on Thursday.
The company had priced its shares at $23 apiece on Wednesday, but opened below that at $20.55. As of early Thursday afternoon, the stock was trading down 15% at $19.50.
The Nashville, Tennessee-based SmileDirectClub sold 58.5 million shares, raising $1.3 billion in the offering. The $23 a-share price valued SmileDirectClub at $8.9 billion.
SmileDirectClub sells clear aligners for teeth, an alternative to what you might get from an orthodontist. While it typically costs $3,000 to $7,000 to get traditional braces or Invisalign-brand aligners, SmileDirectClub goes for a fraction of that — you can either pay $1,895 up front or $2,290 spread out over two years.
The idea behind SmileDirectClub is to make straightening teeth more affordable by cutting out the steps of going in person to a dentist or an orthodontist to get braces or other alignments. The company was started by Alex Fenkell and Jordan Katzman in 2014.
In October, SmileDirectClub raised $380 million from the private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and the venture firms Kleiner Perkins and Spark Capital. The round valued the company at $3.2 billion, up from $275 million just two years earlier.
According to the IPO filing, SmileDirectClub’s net loss widened from $33.8 million in the first half of 2018 to $52.9 million in 2018. The company increased its customer count from 22,000 in 2016 to about 246,000 in the first half of this year.
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