It was in 2012 and Simon Enever went to do some cleaning. While he was sitting with his mouth open, his dentist was beginning to blame the way people treated brushing and flossing as housework and often did both of these basic things badly.
"I asked the dentist why he thought his patients were not taking these simple habits, and he explained it in two things: That people do not like their oral care routine enough." Dental companies want to invest time or energy to improve it, and most brands were more focused on selling expensive gadgets than on driving simple good habits, "he recalls.
The dentist's speech touched an agreement. As an industrial designer, Enever realized that it was possible to create a product with best way to take care of your teeth.
"As a designer, my job [is] make things more enjoyable, "he says.
Enever, now 31, has teamed up with her friend Bill May, Industrial designer colleague, and both spent a year collecting ideas from dentists. Enever is shocked to learn that the average person brushes their teeth for a minute instead of the recommended two and that most people wait about nine months to change the worn electric toothbrush head, instead of three. month as the dentist recommends.
"We wanted to make an accessible, desirable and desirable toothbrush by 80% of people who have never improved or who have bothered to improve their toothbrushes. [to an electric one], "said Enever. By removing all the features that did not really make a big difference and focusing on the ones that really did, we could create something much simpler, more affordable, and hopefully fun to use. "
What they invented is an electric toothbrush with a clean design and no frills.
The first shipment was sent in November 2015. To date, the Brooklyn startup has sold more than a million toothbrushes and has more than one million subscribers. Enever refused to disclose his annual business or profitability of his business.
Create an "Oral Health Ecosystem"
As novice entrepreneurs, Enever and May had a hard time getting funds in the beginning. "Pitching Quip at the start was a bit of a challenge," says Enever.
Both were transplants in New York – Enever had left the UK and May of Virginia – and they lacked contacts in the business community and investors.
"In the first six months we were raising $ 10,000 here, $ 20,000 there," said Enever. "I think we had maybe $ 50,000 in funding for the first six months."
They also faced rejection several times.
"Oral care is not a cool or sexy industry," he says. "We had probably received 70 to 80" no "investors.Even during the first two or three years of our launch, we still struggled to raise funds, despite rapid growth and acquisition users and members really passionate about the product. "
Finally, investors began to take notice of Quip & # 39; s market, favored largely by the extensive use by the brand of social media platforms like Facebook.
"Facebook has not been used from the start as a marketing tool. [It] was one of the most important support tools for users. From the beginning, it really helped us understand how people react to our products, "says Enever.
To date, the company has raised more than $ 62 million from angel and institutional investors, including Sherpa Capital and Brainchild Holdings.
In the future, Enever and May want Quip to become an "ecosystem" of oral health care.
Enever says that he wants Quip to help people improve every aspect of their oral care routine – products that they use at home everyday to the professional dental services they need every day. six months.
"[This] will go through products other than toothbrush and toothpaste, invest more in content and services to guide and follow better techniques and healthy habits, while continuing to simplify and modernize the access experience. quality professional care services when and where you need them, "says Enever.
"It's a bigger perspective [and] if we succeed, it will be forever, hopefully. "