Indonesian dental startup Rata raises seed funding from VC firm Alpha JWC

Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

Indonesian dental technology startup Rata says it has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from VC firm Alpha JWC, as it looks to simplify clear aligner treatment for a market that has been witnessing a rapid rise in its middle-class population.

Launched in May 2019, Rata claims to be the first company in Indonesia, which has the technology to produce aligners in-house. It also offers online tele-dentistry service, which enables customers to interact with dentists on its platform.

Rata’s service is powered by the expertise of a team of dentists who evaluate the individual case of each customer, based on the result of an online questionnaire about their teeth condition and history taken on the Rata website.

Accepted cases 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 produces and sends a set of aligners straight to customers.

“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,” said Rata co-founder and CMO Deviana Maria.

Since its launch, Rata claims to have worked with more than 40 dentists so far to serve over 800 early customers in Greater Jakarta area, per its website.

With the fresh capital from Alpha, the company says it plans to further optimise its technology and enhance its research and development. It also plans to open offline stores to provide on-site experience for intrigued customers and open nation-wide services as well.

By investing in Rata, Alpha becomes the first VC to back a dental startup in Indonesia. The VC will be hoping that Rata will hit the heights of its US counterparts such as Smile Direct Club, which is reportedly set to go public after raising an investment of $380 million in October for a valuation of $3.2 billion.

For Alpha, the investment in Rata follows a $5 million backing of beverage startup Goola. The deal is in keeping with Alpha’s keen interest in new retail business models, which has seen it become the first VC to place a bet on a coffee startup in Indonesia when it injected $8.5 million in seed funding in Kopi Kenangan in October last year.

Since then, other VCs have followed suit and backed other coffee players in the country, such as East Ventures-backed Fore Coffee.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.