Why Growth Is the Common Factor Between SmileDirectClub, Beyond Meat, and Lyft

The Financial Times (FT) recently released the top growing companies in America of 2021, with SmileDirectClub (SDC) coming in strong at #11. Debuting above companies like Beyond Meat and Lyft, it’s clear that SMILEDIRECTCLUB has built a strong business model that has caught people’s attention during the pandemic. Learn more about what these rankings say about the featured businesses and why SmileDirectClub is filling a necessary niche in healthcare today.

A Snapshot of Strength

“A snapshot of relative strength” is how the FT described the second annual FT Americas (which include businesses in both North and South America). The goal of the rankings is to assess which companies were doing well during the pandemic and how they would manage the crisis both as it nears its end and after its conclusion.

The Financial Times notes that many factors, including both economic recovery and vaccine rates, will affect outcomes. However, the list represents companies that have managed to adapt to recent customer needs across a variety of industries.

SmileDirectClub is a teledentistry service headquartered in the US with the ability to serve people from all over the globe. By minimizing the number of in-person dentist visits and charging three times less than the markup of more traditional competitors, it’s clear that the company was well-positioned to attract customers. It remains every bit as relevant today as it was several years ago. SmileDirectClub has given people a way to prioritize their oral health, even if they have financial or schedule constraints.

How Growth Was Calculated

This list was compiled of companies with publicly disclosed revenues between 2016 and 2019. To qualify for the FT rankings for 2021, a company needed to prove it had the highest growth during this time.

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This project was advertised through several channels and was promoted through both the FT and Statista. The latter organization further identified a variety of potential companies and personally invited executives to participate by submitting official revenue figures.

The application phase ran until the end of January 2021 and companies were required to meet the following criteria:

  • Companies had to generate at least $100,000 in revenue in 2016.
  • Revenue had to be at least $1.5 million in 2019.
  • Headquarters had to be in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the US, Uruguay, or Venezuela.
  • Revenue growth was required to be organic (e.g., not from acquisitions or mergers, etc.)
  • Companies had to be considered independent entities (as opposed to subsidiaries or branches).

Rankings were based on compound annual growth rates, a formula that was calculated by comparing how revenue stacked up over the course of three years. While it’s clear that COVID didn’t impact this data, it is a strong indicator of a company’s capital going into an unprecedented event.

SmileDirectClub and Beyond Meat: Why Both Are Growing

Many of the other companies on the FT’s list, such as Beyond Meat at #33, are well-known companies that have gained a lot of traction in both public and private sectors. While this is not a complete list of all companies (as many choose not to disclose their revenue), it’s worth noting what these brands share.

Beyond Meat is a company helping people eat healthier without compromising on taste. By developing a real meat substitute that is largely made of pea proteins, the company is infusing people’s diets with more vegetables and less artery-clogging animal proteins. Too much meat consumption is linked to everything from cancer to heart disease, yet most people continue to eat far more than they should.

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With Beyond Meat, customers are getting meaningful choices that allow them to make meaningful changes to their diet. The company has found a way to introduce its customers to a different lifestyle that doesn’t seem to be all that different from the one they had before. This makes the transition that much more palatable (and therefore more likely to be maintained).

This is not dissimilar to what SmileDirectClub offers its customers. Instead of people having to make multiple trips for teeth-straightening services, they can use telehealth to their advantage. This is a relatively easy way to access oral care professionals who know their teeth inside and out. Membership services offer aligners that deliver high-quality results at a fraction of the price.

About SmileDirectClub

With customers in the US, New Zealand, Ireland, Hong Kong, Spain, Mexico, Singapore, Austria, and the United Kingdom, SmileDirectClub has found a way to democratize healthcare for billions of people. When 84% of people who need teeth straightening don’t get the treatments they should, SmileDirectClub is extending a helping hand by lowering the price and increasing access to professional dental services.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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