This Gurugram-based D2C oral care startup aims to elevate your everyday dental regime
In India, organised oral care is a Rs 15,000 crore market with toothpaste itself accounting for Rs 10,000 crore. For global and established brands like Colgate, Oral B, Sensodyne, etc., the focus is on expanding distribution and making the products available in the remotest part of the country.
However, Gurugram-based D2C oral care brandclaims its core objective is to create “effective products” that deliver an elevated oral care experience.
“We spent months researching the right ingredients, product formats, and technology to create effective solutions. Our objective is to create a holistic oral care brand that will cater to all oral care needs of the consumers. Our current portfolio includes Electric Toothbrush a.k.a Truthbrush, Probiotic Mouthwash, Smart Water Flosser, and Copper Tongue Cleaner,” says Jatan Bawa, Co-founder, Perfora.
Founded in 2021 by Jatan Bawa and Tushar Khurana, Perfora is a digital-first brand that plans to disrupt the oral care category with products.
The startup sells on its own website and on ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, CRED, Flipkart, etc. In the last four months, it claims to have catered to the customers across 26 different states in India. To date, its subscriber base consists of 6,500+ people.
According to Jatan, “As consumers, we weren’t satisfied with the existing set of oral care products available for personal consumption as the products weren’t functional, and filled with unnecessary ingredients or equipped with old technology.”
“On top of it, there was a lack of literature available online on what it takes to maintain good oral hygiene. We have been active consumers of new age consumer brands across different categories i.e., beverages, food, nutrition, skincare, shoes, etc., and were surprised to see a lack of new narrative in this space. All these insights led us to conceptualise Perfora,” he adds.
Prior to this, Jatan was a part of the leadership team at Vahdam India, heading their product strategy vertical, and a founding team member at Akiva Superfoods. Tushar was working with Cult.fit as a part of the expansion team and has also worked with startups like Akiva and OYO.
“We met on a train journey programme called Jagriti Yatra in 2016 and have stayed in touch ever since. Also, ended up working alongside each other while building Akiva Superfoods,” Jatan says.
According to the founder, Perfora’s digital-first DNA combined with a “focus on functionality and well-designed products” helps it to differentiate from other competitors.
“In addition, we are extremely passionate about delivering an exceptional experience to our customers and are always engaging with them to resolve their queries and take their feedback. In India, we are competing with global giants like Colgate, Oral B, Listerine, etc, and on the global front, we take inspiration from brands like Quip, Burst Oral Care, Hello, etc,” he says.
Customers can also personalise their electric toothbrush with their name printed on them.
“The good part is oral care products are a part of everyday routine and hence with a strong and differentiated product proposition, it is possible to grab consumer’s attention,” Jatan adds.
However, the bad part is that oral care is a “low engagement purchase” and consumers don’t end up paying too much attention to this aspect of health.
“It is difficult to make a consumer take notice of better oral care products but with relatable content and effective products, we are in the process of bringing this change,” he says.
The startup has a team of four full-time employees who work alongside freelancers for different requirements.
The way ahead
This December, Perfora raised a pre-seed round of $260,000 led by Sauce.vc, Huddle, and a few angel investors including Bala Sarda (Vahdam Teas), Sameer Mehta (boAt Lifestyle), and Shashank Mehta (The Whole Truth Foods).
The capital raised will be utilised to expand into new product categories, test out different channels, build its team and establish product-market fit.
“We intend to close this financial year with an ARR of Rs 5 crore,” says Jatan.
“Going forward, we will be expanding our product portfolio and will be introducing an innovative toothpaste formulation and also introducing products targeted at specific concerns like Whitening, Sensitivity, Tooth Pain Relief, etc.,” he adds.