Published On: Thu, Oct 31st, 2013

Jake Winebaum Smile Just Got Brighter As He Raises $15 Million In Funding

Winebaum’s company Brighter, which offers a low cost alternative to dental insurance, will use the funding to expand their service across the United States.

 Jake-Winebaum

Jake Winebaum, a serial entrepreneur with a long string of successes, looks like he will be achieving his goal to spread a smile across the United States, thanks to the latest round of $15 million in Series C funding to expand the Brighter website. The latest round of financing means that a total of $28 million has been invested in Brighter since its foundation.

Winebaum established Brighter to provide a simple alternative to dental insurance, which is also exceptionally cost saving announced that, thanks to the additional funding they have received, they will now be able to considerably accelerate the company’s service.

Since Jake Winebaum launched his innovative new service, which was only in June of this year, Brighter has succeeded in achieving remarkable growth, with already a list of 600 dentists on his list of approved clinics within the company’s initial planned catchment area of LA County. Brighter has already subscribed several thousand members.

The latest round of Series C financing for Brighter was led by Tenaya Capital and also included some of their original investors including the Mayfield Fund and Benchmark.

According to Winebaum this round of finance will be exclusively utilized in order to expand the spread of Brighter’s services across new markets, as part of a planned program to bring affordable and quality dental care within the reach of as many people as possible.

Discussing his expansion plans for the company, Jake Winebaum pointed out that according to recent surveys carried out only 36 percent of all adults in the United States pay a visit to their dentist during the course of one year. The reason why that is the current financial situation is taking dental care gradually down their list of priorities.

“ Hopefully, thanks to this latest round of funding, Brighter will be able to considerably expand their services and help more people access to affordable care at great dentists across the country.” Winebaum summed up.

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To help Brighter to fulfill their expansion plans Stewart Gollmer, managing director of Tenaya Capital, will be joining the company’s Board of Directors. Gollmer stated his belief that brighter is not only the future of the dental industry, but is also leading by example on how to use communication technology to reduce overall health care costs.

Jake Winebaum established his company in the awareness that slightly less than 50% of all adults in the United States lack any form of dental insurance, taking the default option of paying for first aid dental care when the demand, and usually a painful one, calls for. And as anyone who has ever suffered the pain of toothache will tell you, there is no limit to the price you will pay.

Brighter was established to provide a form of dental insurance that will cost approximately half of the standard charges that dentists apply covering a range of over 500 procedures. All of the dentists on Brighter’s list have been thoroughly and carefully vetted to meet the standards of professionalism and service expected.

Brighter’s service includes providing comprehensive profiles on its dentists to potential subscribers including details of their levels of training education, including full transparency of their credentials, providing details of the dental office amenities, a list of objective patient reviews, access to the dentist’s appointment schedules, a full and current price list, containing a comparison chart containing details of typical uninsured prices against prices for the same treatment that Brighter subscribers can enjoy.

Winebaum has proven over the years that he knows how to run a successful company in almost any field having established the FamilyFun magazine, the Business.com website as well as being co-founder of eCompanies and Blue Waters Research.

 

Jake Winebaum was born in New York City, although he spent much of his childhood living in the equally exciting cities of London, Milan and Paris before his family returned to settle in the town of Exeter, New Hampshire.

After completing his highly school education at Phillips Exeter Academy, Winebaum attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire where he majored in Biology and Creative Writing, and succeeded in graduating cum laude, whilst also being the recipient of the prestigious Grimes Senior Writing Prize.

Even though he was involved in his college education, in 1980, Winebaum took his first entrepreneurial steps establishing a company known as the Same Day Fish Company. Far away from the world of high-tech young Jake spent all of his summers , working on fishing boats to gain experience and raise the money to establish a fish processing and distribution business that delivered fresh fish and lobsters to restaurants and supermarkets all over Northern New England.

After graduating from university and selling his fresh fish enterprise , Jake Winebaum began his  professional career achieving his ambition to become a writer at Fortune magazine in 1982, moving on to become a staff member at Time magazine the following year.

With loads of experience under his belt Winebaum took on his biggest writing challenge to date, joining the U.S. News & World Report magazine in 1985. U.S. News & World Report was known to be in a period of stagnation when Jake them, and was recognized be the driving force in the magazine’s remarkable turnaround, which increasingly masterminded over the following six years.

In 1991 Jake together with his wife Cindy established the FamilyFun magazine which proved to be an instant hit, even being added to AdWeek’s list of Hot 5 list of magazines the following year.

The Winebaums sold the FamilyFun magazine to the Walt Disney Company that same year, with Jake joining the company as part of the deal. While at Disney, Jake was involved in putting together a number of initiatives, initially in the printed media, moving on to help them establish an Internet presence, eventually being placed in charge of all of Disney’s Internet businesses, including Disney.com, ABCNews.com and ESPN.com.

 

Winebaum left Disney in 1999 to be involved in the establishment of eCompanies, an Internet incubator and venture fund, in partnership with EarthLink founder Sky Dayton. The pair’s joint enterprise spawned a number of successful Internet companies including LowerMyBills.com, JAMDAT Mobile, Boingo Wireless and USBX all of which were ever successfully floated on the stock exchange or acquired by larger companies.

Another product of the eCompanies stable was Business.com. Which Jake Winebaum took under his wing, acting as CEO for the company from 2002 to 2007 when it was acquired by RH Donnelly.

After taking some time out, Winebaum once again was involved in the co-founding of Internet incubator and investment firm, this time under the title of Blue Waters Research in partnership with entrepreneur and LowerMyBills founder, Matt Coffin.

As had been the case with eCompanies, Winebaum took one of Blue Waters Research’s startups, Brighter.com under his personal supervision- and the rest, as they say, is history.

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