Most people would agree that braces, though beneficial, are painful and not flattering. Rata wants to change that. Rata, meaning aligned in English, is one of Alpha JWC Ventures’ newest portfolio companies. They work on existing clear dental aligner technology and create their own product that is much more affordable by almost 80% compared to their competitors — making good smiles available for the mass market.
“We are adapting global technology to the local market, providing better alternatives to customers. Well-aligned teeth are not only about great smiles, they affect one’s health as well. It’s a shame that only the wealthy can afford braces, and that’s what Rata wants to change,” says Rata Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer Deviana Maria.
“Rata is a D2C (Direct-To-Customer) model that simplifies the clear aligner treatment. Our technology is the 1st in Indonesia that lets us produce the aligners in-house where we can maintain the highest quality of products. The online tele-dentistry approach also enables customers to interact with dentists within clicks away.”
So, how does it work? Customers can go to Rata’s website and fill in an online questionnaire about their teeth condition and history. Each case will be evaluated by a team of dentists. Accepted cases will then proceed to teeth impression phase, in which Rata provides assistance to customers. Upon receiving the teeth-model, Rata utilizes its AI capability to simulate the alignment journey. Once approved by dentists and reviewed by customers, Rata will produce and send a set of aligners straight to customers. Each set is programmed to be used for 7 to 10 days, and 22 hours a day.
But as in all medical goods, there is no one-fit-all product. For those with further need of dental treatment, Rata will suggest a visit to their clinic or to one of their partner clinics before proceeding with the aligners.
Rata’s aligners price point is around US$600 for 3-6 months of treatment. Since launched in May 2019, Rata has served hundreds of early customers in Greater Jakarta area from their website. This quarter, they’re opening their offline store to provide on-site experience for intrigued customers and open nation-wide services as well.
“One of the biggest challenges in direct-to-customer business is to gain customer trust, especially for dental appliances” Devi says. “In our case, we’re proud to say that Rata is fully supervised by dentists to ensure safety and compatibility. We also provide options to cater to customers’ need for offline experience and further treatment.”
Rata’s two co-founders, Devi and her husband Edward Makmur, are dentists. Rata’s back end, production line, and customers services are also supported by dentists, so that not only the product is suitable to customer need, but also customers can consult before making any decisions throughout their journey. Rata also has partnering dental clinics should further treatment is needed.
“We are dentists, and Rata is not here to eliminate dental visit at all. We want to educate the market with a better alternative for teeth clear aligner and at the same time work with other dentists to share this good news. After all, we’ve taken an oath to do what’s best for our patients, haven’t we?” adds Devi.