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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
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STARTUPS & INNOVATIONS

FUNDING­

 

Irvine-based orthodontics firm InBrace received a $45 million loan led by Horizon Technology Finance Corp. (Nasdaq: HRZN).

The Farmington, Conn.-based venture debt firm contributed $7 million to the initial $10 million draw. Horizon’s advisor, Horizon Technology Finance Management LLC, funded the remaining $3 million.

“InBrace is disrupting the $40 billion-plus orthodontic market, offering completely hidden teeth straightening treatment that significantly reduces treatment time while allowing patients to eat, drink, brush and floss like they can when not in treatment,” Horizon President Gerald Michaud said in a statement.

The “invisible braces” company’s flagship product is the SmartWire. Unlike braces and Invisalign, the SmartWire sits behind the teeth and, leveraging computer modeling and artificial intelligence, gently moves them into place without the need for tray changes or tightenings.

“Patients don’t have to look worse before they look better,” CEO Clint Carnell said in a statement.

Company founder John Pham this year received an Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award from the Business Journal.

In addition to the new loan, InBrace has raised over $175 million in funding to date; investors include Farallon Capital Management LLC, Marshall Wace and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and RTW Investments LP.

 

Catlin Tran, University of California, Irvine business economics major and founder of health and wellness startup Nutripair, received the UCI Beall Applied Innovation Creativity & Entrepreneurship Scholarship, which awards up to $3,000 to a UCI student that creates a solution to a widespread need or problem.

The funding will support the development of Nutripair.

Nutripair provides users with personal nutritional advice on preventing and combating chronic illnesses through their dietary choices. Tran drew inspiration for the company when she sought ways to change her diet after learning of her family’s health history of genetic diabetes.

“In a traditional Vietnamese household, we eat a lot of starches and a lot of processed foods, so it’s motivated me to think of creative ways to find more nutritional options,” she told UCI News.

Nutripair placed second in UCI’s Butterworth Product Development Competition last year.

 

Santa Ana-based behavioral telehealth provider Sensible Care Inc. closed a $13 million Series A round led by Boston-based growth equity firm Volition Capital.

Los Angeles-based Skyline Investors also took part in the funding round.

The funding will support the development and expansion of the company’s platform and services to Texas, Florida and Virginia, areas with high enrollment numbers in TRICARE, a healthcare program for military service members.

Sensible Care was founded in 2017.

A recent patient survey by the company saw 98.5% of patients reported being more satisfied with Sensible Care than with other services providers they’ve tried, according to company officials.

Unlike other teletherapy providers, Sensible Care offers psychiatric and therapy services and accepts most major insurance, the company says.

“Having personally experienced the frustrating obstacles of accessing quality mental healthcare, especially for military veterans, my co-founders and I set out to create a solution that maximizes access for patients by leveraging their insurance while offering value for providers through tech-enabled employment,” CEO Paul Kim said in a statement.

 

PARTNERSHIPS

 

Irvine-based smartphone data company ModeOne Technologies Inc. has inked a partnership with national business law firm Spencer Fane LLP.

ModeOne will help Spencer Fane “better serve clients with highly-efficient cellphone data acquisition and expert forensic services,” Legal Innovations and eDiscovery Counsel Philip Goodin said. “ModeOne’s services in these areas have been first-rate, a five-star performance.”

ModeOne, founded in May of this year, offers the legal field’s first automated and targeted system for gathering mobile phone data as evidence, without the need for a physical collection kit, according to company officials.

The technology saves time, reduces manpower and cuts the typical cost of evidentiary data collection from mobile devices by at least half, company officials say.

 

LAUNCH

 

San Clemente-based vegan hair and skincare company Original Sprout unveiled its Worry Free line this month.

The new haircare collection, featuring shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatment, mist and oil, aims to leave users with an “untroubled conscience.” A 10 fl oz bottle of shampoo, conditioner and leave-in treatment each costs $14.99. A 4 fl oz container of hair mist and oil also cost $14.99 each.

The Worry Free line “is completely free of toxic additives, questionable manufacturing practices and ineffective ingredients,” company officials say.

All products in the line use cruelty free formulas, are developed with an awareness of their carbon footprint and do not contain parabens, phthalates, sulfates and gluten, according to company officials.

Original Sprout, founded in 2003, is a unit of the Marygold Companies Inc. (NYSE: MGLD), formerly known as Concierge Techologies Inc., an owner of a variety of businesses headquartered in San Clemente. Marygold Companies acquired Original Sprout in 2017.

Marygold Companies reported its beauty products, which includes Original Sprout, generated $2.7 million in revenue for the nine-month period ended March 31, down 5% from the same period a year ago.

 

Irvine-based skincare company Youva MD Inc. has taken the wraps off its first product, the All I Need serum this month.

The serum rejuvenates, moisturizes, protects and repairs as an “all-in-one” skincare product, company officials say. It is toxin-free and effective on all skin types. A 1 fl oz container costs about $150.

Youva MD, launched in February of this year, is led by Dr. Yeral Patel, who specializes in anti-aging and regenerative medicine doctor.

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