Pearl, a dental tech company that spun out of LA-based AI startup company GumGum founded by Ophir Tanz and Kyle Stanley, announced recently that it raised $11 million in funding from undisclosed strategic investors and Craft Ventures — which is a venture firm founded by Yammer and Geni.com founder David Sacks.
Tanz — who is also the GumGum co-founder — started focusing on Pearl last month full-time. And GumGum president and chief operating officer Phil Schraeder took on the CEO role.
“This idea was seeded within GumGum,” said Tanz via TechCrunch. “I started the process of collecting dental x-rays over three years ago.”
From a business strategy standpoint, GumGum has been looking for ways to spin out companies that utilize its computer vision technology. And GumGum’s portfolio of advertising and for sports franchises are profitable on their own. And Tanz told TechCrunch that Pearl’s opportunity in healthcare “was too tempting to pass up.”
Dentistry is often forgotten about when it comes to technology innovation. “The thing with dentistry is that it’s always somehow the forgotten medicine, but it’s such a massive market opportunity,” Tanz acknowledged via TechCrunch.
With machine learning for the dental industry, there are several objectives that can be addressed. For example, it can reduce fraud for insurers and it can validate the performance of dentists in networks being created through the consolidation of small practices by private equity firms. Plus it can automate workflows within dental offices.
And diagnostics tools can be potentially integrated with medical devices through software which can be distributed and updated remotely — which gives practitioners the best quality information.
With this funding round, the company is focused on building out its toolkit for teeth. Going forward, the company is going to look to expand to other verticals within healthcare.
Soon Pearl will be launching with three products including “Second Opinion” (scans x-rays and identifies pathologies/anatomy for ensuring proper diagnoses), “Practice Intelligence” (delivers advanced analytics for dental practices and groups for dealing with patients effectively), and “Smart Margin” (intraoral scans for dental restoration and manufacturers).