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'Smart Toothbrush' Dental Benefits Firm Raises $22.5 Million

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Beam Dental, a dental plan manager that has harnessed the power of the smart toothbrush, has raised $22.5 million in capital from private investors, according to Kleiner Perkins.

Kleiner Perkins, a major venture capital firm, says it  was the top source of new funding.

Beam is a Columbus, Ohio-based company that designs, sells and administers group dental plans insured by another company in 16 states.

Beam works to increase the quality of enrollees’ dental care, and hold down the cost, by collecting data on the enrollees’ teeth brushing habits through the use of an electronic toothbrush — the Beam Brush. The company has also tried to build automation into all other sales, underwriting and administration processes.

(Related: Planning for Dental Care Costs in Retirement)

The company plans to use the new venture capital funding to make the high-tech dental plans available through the United States, Kleiner Perkins says.

Alex Frommeyer, Alex Curry and Dan Dykes founded the company in 2012.

Lucas Swisher, who’s affiliated with Kleiner Perkins, is joining the Beam board, according to Kleiner Perkins.

Beam has been actively courting benefits brokers and benefits exchange programs in the states it serves.

Wellthie, Word & Brown and are some of the companies with relationships with Beam.

Beam distributes a “Beam Perks” package that includes a smart electric toothbrush, replacement toothbrush heads, toothpaste and dental floss to each enrollee every six months.

Beam says the data collected by the Beam Brush, and the back-office automation systems, will help it offer dental coverage without any waiting periods for any covered services, and with annual maximums as high as $5,000.

In one state, Beam pays agent commissions of 10% for sales of group plans with two to 50 employee members, and 8% for sales of group plans with 51 to 100 employees. For larger cases, commissions are subject to negotiation.

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