Beam Technologies gets $5M for smart toothbrush

By Aditi Pai

beam brush appLouisville, Kentucky-based smart toothbrush maker Beam Technologies raised $5 million in a round led by Drive Capital for its manual smartphone connected toothbrush. This brings the company's total announced funding to date to $5.5 million.

"We've been working hard to transform the mundane two minutes people spend brushing their teeth to create a highly engaging user experience -- so much so that on our first run, the Beam Brush sold out," Beam Technologies CEO Alex Frommeyer said in a statement.

The new funds will be used to scale the product and open a new office for the company in Columbus, Ohio.

The connected toothbrush, called Beam Brush, which received FDA 510(k) clearance in July 2012, has an embedded accelerometer that tracks a user's brushing schedule. The sensor can measure how long a user brushes and how often. This information is sent to a companion smartphone app via Bluetooth so that users can see their brushing trends over time. The app encourages users to brush for two minutes and during this time it will play music.

In October 2013, Beam announced a second product, called the Beam Brush Bug, which is a small adhesive accelerometer they can attach to any toothbrush or flossing device. While the sensor-embedded version costs $24.99, the Beam Brush Bug cost $19.99 in preorders.

This year, several other connected toothbrush companies have announced products.

In February, dental hygiene company Oral-B announced its Bluetooth-connected electric toothbrush line, SmartSeries. SmartSeries will offer users six different brushing modes — daily cleaning, deep clean, whitening, gum care, sensitive, tongue cleaning — so that users can personalize their brushing experience with their dentist. The app starts a timer when the user begins to brush and leads the user through whichever brushing routine suits their needs.

A few months later, a startup, Kolibree, launched a Kickstarter campaign for its smartphone connected electric toothbrush, which raised $30,000 over its $70,000 goal. Kolibree’s connected toothbrush has sensors that detect not only how long users brushed their teeth, but also whether they hit all the hard to reach places between gums and teeth. Kolibree wants brushing to last two minutes and the app will alert the user when time is up. Since the app doesn’t run in the background, while brushing, users can scroll their Twitter feed, watch a video, or listen to a song through Kolibree’s app.