One of my kids has had braces so when I met Nick Wangler, president and co-founder of Details, I immediately appreciated the value proposition of his startup. What he and co-founder Dr. Jeff Biggs have created is an online marketplace that connects orthodontic practices with all the suppliers they rely on to run their practices. What’s cool is they can continue to buy from the same suppliers they always have. The only difference is they’re all in one place. Huge time and money saver. I liked Details’ product-market fit and their early traction, so I invited Nick to a VisionTech Angels Screening Committee. The group was impressed with the company’s vision to build B2B marketplaces in healthcare verticals and invited him to present at our September 6 pitch events. Here’s a preview.
BP: How did you find out about VisionTech Angels?
NW: I worked at DeveloperTown for four years coaching and consulting with startups so naturally had heard of VisionTech Angels. When we started fundraising, there was one day in particular when four different investors told me, “This would be perfect for VisionTech,” so here we are!
BP: How did you get involved with Orthodontic Details?
NW: It’s kind of a funny story. DeveloperTown’s bread and butter is software consulting and development, in addition to supporting startups. One day Dr. Jeff Biggs, an Indianapolis orthodontist who’s probably put braces on some of your kids, showed up and said he wanted us to “Build the Amazon of Orthodontics.” Now that’s a complicated request, but he was serious about it. So we gave him some homework to do, and he did the same with us. As we got to know Jeff, we saw his brilliance, willingness to learn and his humility, and agreed to build something together.
The deeper I got into Jeff’s project, the more interested I became interested in co-founding the company with him. His expertise is orthodontics and mine is business and helping people launch companies. Startups aren’t easy, but it was very clear Jeff was someone I wanted to climb the mountain with. I got permission from my partners at DeveloperTown, who also invested in Details, to leave and co-found the company.
BP: Explain the market need.
NW: The pain point for orthodontic practices is clear: clinical staff are pulled away from revenue-generating activities such as starting new patients to order supplies. Keeping the practice stocked with all of the supplies they need to treat patients and run a business is complicated and time consuming. A practice is typically dealing with 15-plus different companies for products they use on a daily basis. Some of these companies have ecommerce sites, but many do not, requiring practices to call a salesperson to place orders. There is a tremendous amount of time spent ordering, following up and managing the financial side. Old school all the way.
BP: What’s the market size?
NW: We’re tackling a series of healthcare verticals, starting with orthodontics, where $1.2 billion is spent on supplies each year.
BP: What’s your solution?
NW: We have literally done what Jeff set out to do: create an Amazon-like platform for orthodontics practices. With Details, they can order all of their supplies in one place, without changing suppliers. Details also gives them access to their shopping list, order status, practice order history, and ways to find savings. All of the headaches and massive amount of time associated with managing multiple suppliers is gone simply by paying a monthly SaaS membership fee to Details, while unlocking a clinical staff member to spend time on revenue generating activities, like starting new patients
BP: Where are you in terms of scaling the company?
NW: We’ve grown from three practices piloting a spreadsheet version of our product to more than 100 practices paying to use our custom-built platform within 18 months. As you can imagine, this has brought attention from the supply side of the business, where we recently announced partnerships with key suppliers like 3M, G&H, Dynaflex, and more. Customer usage is off the charts, with more orders come through in June 2023 than all of Q4 of 2022 combined.
BP: What kind of response have you gotten from customers? Is this influencing other practices to jump on board?
NW: Oh my gosh! The response we’re getting from practices is what fuels my excitement for Details. Soon after we launched our MVP platform, something we never imagined started to happen. Practices were sending us hand-written notes and texting us, thanking us for saving them time, money, and the stress of ordering from and managing multiple vendors. Many said we’d given them their lives back. One orthodontist wrote and said his practice manager would probably quit if he took Details away from her.
Testimonials are key in health care. Like other industries, few want to be first. But when they see what’s working for others in their peer group or industry, they want in. Referrals are also important, and our investors, many of whom are orthodontists, help with that.
BP: Do you have intellectual property protection?
NW: What we’re doing behind the scenes is patentable, which is a process we’ve started and anticipate wrapping up this year.
BP: What is your revenue model?
NW: We’re primarily SaaS, with practices paying a monthly fee to use the platform. The time and supply spend savings practices are seeing allows our service to literally pay for itself. We add additional value by onboarding the practices, so they know how to use the platform and by identifying savings on the supplies they order. We’ve identified additional revenue streams we’ll be revealing soon as well.
BP: Is this platform transferable to other industries?
NW: Absolutely. That said, we are focusing our energy on the orthodontics vertical to truly delight our customers, secure market share, and do any fine tuning to our platform and business model we think is beneficial. An example of this is our use of AI to reduce time to value. With a solid beachhead in orthodontics, there are multiple overlooked healthcare verticals that we can enter and scale pretty easily. These are endodontics which has a $1.4 billion annual supply spent, veterinary medicine with a $2 billion annual supply spend, and the big one, dermatology, with a $5.5 billion supply spend.
BP: What round is this?
NW: This is a seed round, and our goal is to raise $1 million.
BP: What is your planned use of funds?
NW: We currently have more than 1o0 practices on our platform. Now that we’ve proven our platform for customers as well as suppliers, and proven our sales approach, it’s time to scale. This is primarily growth capital and we’re looking forward to pouring gas on the fire.
BP: Give me three reasons why VisionTech Angels members should invest.
NW: I’ve got four. First, we’ve learned how to convert leads to sales and are now closing more than 60% of those leads. Second, our customer retention rate is greater than 96%—we’re very sticky. Third, many of our early investors are orthodontists, consultants , and industry partners, who are a main source of lead generation. Finally, we’ve built a team hungry for success.
BP: Sounds good! Looking forward to your pitch on Wednesday, September 6.
VisionTech Angels’ Pitch Events will be held Wednesday, September 6. The Noon Session is virtual. The Evening Session at 5:30 pm ET is your choice of in-person with dinner at KSM at 800 E 96th St #500, Indianapolis, or virtual. Pitch events are open to our members and accredited investors interested in joining our group. To register, check your email for an invitation, go to our Events page where you’ll find the RSVP links. You can also email Ben Pidgeon at firstname.lastname@example.org.