iDentalSoft, a cloud-based dental practice management platform, was formed in the Bay Area but established business headquarters in Kansas City earlier this year. The tech startup also announced on Wednesday that it has received a new round of funding led by FCA Venture Partners in Nashville.
Bay Area Roots
iDentalSoft was born in California when technical founder Michael Nguyen was trying to modernize the patient experience in dental offices.
Nguyen kept seeing servers in dentist’s offices to house their practice-management software, and learned that 90% of dentists in the U.S. are still using server-side software to manage their businesses.
“He quickly realized there was an opportunity to put this stuff in the cloud,” said Scott Osler, Chief Growth Officer for iDentalSoft.
iDentalSoft replaces a dentist office’s server-side software with a subscription-based management platform that streamlines front office workflow, improves clinical efficiency, and boosts production.
Scaling faster in the Midwest
Osler said it took several years to get the iDentalSoft product platform to a place where it was useable in beta with customers. The company took a round of seed capital to validate product-market fit, then around 2015-2016 started focusing on acquiring customers and building out a sales model.
They began approaching dental practices nationally instead of just around the Bay Area and knew they needed to explore ways to acquire B2B customers through digital channels, not just face-to-face meetings.
Osler had built sales and marketing engines for startups in places like Chicago, Silicon Valley, Atlanta, Phoenix and Seattle. He told the iDentalSoft team that when looking at the quality of talent and cost of running the business, there was no better place to grow than Kansas City.
“I started looking at their assumptions for building a sales team in the Bay Area,” said Osler. “All those assumptions were right, but required on-target earnings double or more of what the expectations would be in Kansas City or other parts of the Heartland.”
Osler said that employee retention can sometimes be an issue in the Bay Area as well since employees are always chasing the next big startup in order to get in on the ground floor.
“I feel like startups that are in Kansas City, Omaha or Des Moines are in a smaller pond and you can attract a lot of high-quality talent that want to be a part of a startup, but the options are more limited,” said Osler. “At the end of the day, we all agreed to set up business headquarters in Kansas City and raise money.”
Raising capital from a Nashville VC
iDentalSoft recently closed a pre-series A round led by FCA Venture Partners, an investor in fast-growing healthcare companies that streamline industry processes and improve the experience and quality of care for patients.
“We’re thrilled to partner with FCA Venture Partners,” said Osler. “With their investment, we have the resources necessary to grow our Kansas City-based sales team and further innovate our platform with key features that will benefit our growing client base.”
With Kansas City and Nashville now in its network, iDentalSoft has built a bluprint for success that Osler said catches the attention of other Bay Area startups.
“It’s kind of this strange story where we were founded in the Bay Area, hired the operations and sales team in Kansas City, and raised capital from a health-focused VC fund in Nashville,” said Osler.
But could iDentalSoft’s roadmap catch on with other startups?
“My general feeling is that the model we’re building at iDentalSoft is interesting,” said Osler. “When it comes to building out growth, my personal bias is that you don’t have to build sales and marketing teams in the Bay Area. You can find really, really strong talent––even better talent––in the Midwest.”
Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.