Transparent braces are a rapidly growing business, and SmileDirectClub plans to cash in with a bigger-than-expected initial public stock offering.
SmileDirectClub has priced its IPO at $23 per share, which is more than expected, ahead of its Thursday debut. The company originally expected to price its shares between $19 and $22.
The stock opened at $20.55 per share, 11% lower than expected. Losses accelerated through the afternoon with shares losing 18% of their value.
SmileDirectClub started five years ago, selling "tight-fitting clear aligners" that act as braces. The product costs $1,895, but it also offers monthly payments for $85 a month over 24 months, which, with a deposit, brings the total price of the aligner to $2,290.
The company is now valued at nearly $9 billion, according to a company press release.
The company's stock is expected to start trading Thursday on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SDC." Executives from the company rang the Nasdaq's opening bell.
According to a regulatory filing from August, revenues have sharply jumped over the past few years. SmileDirectClub pulled in $423 million in total revenue last year — an increase of 190% from 2017.
SmileDirectClub plans to use the money it's raising for international expansion, developing new dental products and opening new so-called SmileShops. The company said those are a "key driver in expanding access to care." So far, the company 300 stores in four countries and expect to open roughly 80 more this year.
Its IPO joins a sea of dreariness. WeWork is reportedly weighing whether to cut its targeted IPO valuation drastically, Uber and Lyft stocks have recently hit all-time lows.