SmileDirectClub Inc. SDC, a dental aligner manufacturer, has filed for bankruptcy just a few years after its remarkable $1.35 billion IPO.
What Happened: The Nashville-based company made its Chapter 11 declaration in Texas this past week. The move will allow it to sustain operations while formulating a strategy to settle its debts.
As a part of the revival plan, the company’s founders are set to pump a minimum of $20 million back into the business, according to Bloomberg.
SmileDirectClub introduced plastic aligners, presenting a more affordable alternative to age-old braces, and took a direct-to-consumer marketing approach.
Also Read: SmileDirectClub’s Return On Capital Employed Insights
The company’s valuation soared to $8.9 billion in its 2019 IPO, elevating its founders to billionaire status.
However, the post-IPO phase was riddled with obstacles. The company grappled with decreasing revenues and remained unprofitable. A patent tussle with a competing firm further strained its resources.
The onset of the pandemic dealt an additional blow, compelling the company to slash its sales and promotional activities.
While SmileDirectClub pioneered the direct-to-consumer dental aligner market, it faces stiff competition from brands like Invisalign, which is owned by Align Technology, Inc ALGN; Candid; Byte, which is owned by Dentsply Sirona Inc XRAY; NewSmile; and ALIGERNCO. These competitors have been vying for a share of the lucrative dental aligner market, further intensifying the challenges for SmileDirectClub.
Align closed Friday’s trading session at $305.32. Dentsply Sirona closed at $34.16. SmileDirectClub closed at $0.42 following the bankruptcy announcement.
This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.