Many people grew up with crooked or misaligned teeth. There was only one way to fix them: rubber bands, metal brackets, wire, and metal brackets.
These required regular adjustments, making flossing and brushing difficult.
Clear aligners have been a revolutionary innovation in the last decade. They are virtually invisible and easy to remove.
A Jordan-based company now uses its technology to target the Mena region’s growing market for Aligner
Eon Dental was founded in 2011 and manufactured top-of-the-line clear aligners. The company also offers a clinician-centric solution to provide its products.
Qais Sabri is co-founder and chief executive officer of Eon Dental.
According to Research and Markets’ July 2021 report, the global market for clear aligners will reach $16 billion by 2028. According to Research and Markets, this growth rate is compounded at 27.3 percent.
Teenagers are increasingly looking for clear aligners that can be customized. According to the report, many teenagers want to avoid metal braces. They also prefer aligners that look attractive.
Clear aligners are currently only a tiny part of the orthodontic market. That is a result of several factors, including higher prices and the that not all orthodontic problems can be treated with clear aligners.Qais Sabri, co-founder and chief executive of Eon. Photo: Eon Dental
Braces are now more comfortable and beautiful than ever. Also, lingual orthodontics and porcelain braces, which are glued to the backside of the teeth, are less noticeable.
Even though many companies make clear aligners, Eon hopes to capture a larger market share in this expanding industry.
According to Mr. Sabri, the industry is changing rapidly, and the landscape of competition is being reshaped. He expects Eon to be a significant player in the transparent aligner market in the next few years.
Mr. Sabri states that the company is expanding its manufacturing capabilities by investing in automation and the supply chain. This is essential to mass-produce a high-quality, customized product.
Eon manufactures more than 100,000 products per month at its Jordan manufacturing plant.
Mr. Sabri states that it is working to optimize its clinical capabilities and processes further to improve the clinical outcomes for patients.
Sabri has over 20 years of experience in the medical tech industry. He started his relationship manager at Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking Division. After returning from the US, Sabri founded QS Medical, a consulting and sales company for medical devices.
He says that he and his co-founding partner Eon were “excited entrepreneurs looking for the next opportunity to build something exciting.” “Someone brought my attention to clear aligners.”
According to Mr. Sabri, the segment had a 4 percent market penetration when he first started looking at it. He says, “There was a demand for orthodontics. But they didn’t have the resources or the experience to get it.”
“We tried it even though we didn’t have a dental background. This was a blessing in disguise, as sometimes, being a bit naive can allow you to underestimate risks and push you higher to take on more significant challenges.
“We began to learn about the industry – seeking out knowledge from other parts of the globe to understand orthodontics and clear aligners, as well as the competitive landscape,” Mr. Sabri said. It took us a long period to understand how this business involved custom manufacturing. Then you have digital workflows and other technicalities to work with.
Aligners, which are similar to traditional braces in that they gradually change the position of your teeth, work just like conventional braces. Eon states that the aligner must be worn for between 20 and 22 hours per day. Each aligner should be worn for at least two weeks before moving on to the next stage. You should also maintain good oral hygiene.
The Eon Aligner team will create a customized treatment plan after an orthodontist examines the patient’s crooked smile and makes a request for treatment. Eon claims its aligners are made of FDA-approved medical-grade polyurethane.
Clear aligners are more attractive because they require less interaction between patient and doctor, says Mr. Sabri.
Eon secured $26 million Series B financing from investors in November 2013. This group included an international medical technology fund, Arab Palestinian Investment Company, Endeavor Catalyst Ventures, Spartech Ventures, Bank al Etihad, and an extensive international bank. Eon reports that existing investors Silicon Badia and Hummingbird Ventures joined them in financing.
This funding will be used for further advancement of its manufacturing automation capabilities and clinical services capabilities. It will also increase investment in its enterprise, clinical software solutions and improve its commercialization.
“The segment is expanding exponentially, and we will certainly need more capital as our ambitions towards bigger things,” Mr. Sabri states. “Funding of approximately $50m to $100m will be available in the future.”
Q&A with Qais Sabr, chief executive officer and co-founder of Eon
1. What do you see for the company in five years?
Eon is a potential global competitor in the transparent aligner market, where it will be competing with established market players.
2. Which other start-up did you wish you’d started?
An entrepreneur’s instinct is to fear missing out on missed opportunities. This could be a company they haven’t started, a strategic decision they made, or a partnership they didn’t pursue. However, it is essential to focus on the business and not allow missed opportunities to distract you. The right opportunities will come if one does this.
3. What would you do differently if you could?
Although there is growing awareness of the importance and value of culture within an organization, many entrepreneurs still view it as something to be done later, after it has established itself. If I had to do it differently, it would be to bring together the right people and create the right culture. It is the foundation of everything else. Culture is the mentality and assumptions that influence how people behave, think, and make decisions in an organization. It should be a top priority right from the beginning.
4. What’s your next big step at Eon Dental?
- We shall continue to accomplish what we’re doing:
- Improving our manufacturing capabilities through investments into our supply chain automation.
- Further optimizing our clinical capabilities to improve clinical outcomes for patients.
- Innovating in enterprise and clinical software solutions.
- Continuing to grow in existing markets by increasing our commercialization.
5. What were the biggest lessons learned while launching Eon Dental
To add value to your stakeholders, it is essential to understand the problem or inefficiency you are trying to solve. This means putting customers at the center of the design process and relying on data and their feedback to make decisions. We are constantly improving our product offerings through this iterative process.
Second, company culture must be as well-designed as the company’s products. It is the foundation of all that an organization does. Once it is established, it can be challenging to change.
Finally, be open with yourself. Entrepreneurs must be visionaries and optimists. However, it is essential, to be honest with your team and yourself about what is working.
- Company: Eon Dental
- Date started: 2011
- Founders: Qais Sabri, Yousef Nassar, Firas Shahrour
- Based in Jordan
- Sector: dental technology
- Size: 300 employees
- Stage: Series B
- Investment: $26m
Investors: Hummingbird Ventures and Silicon Badia are the international MedTech funds (undisclosed), Hummingbird Ventures, and Silicon Badia. The Arab Palestinian Investment Company is to Jasoor Ventures. Endeavor Catalyst. Spartech Ventures. Bank al Etihad.