Brittany Stewart: I’m Brittany Stewart, co-founder of BURST Oral Care.
Haymish Khayat: And I’m Haymish Khayat, co-founder of BURST Oral Care.
Haymish Khayat: We have over 25,000 [hygienists] that we work with daily. And there’s one set of phrases that we would coin for that both you and oddly personal with them all. We speak to them every day. We communicate with them. We’re friends with them all. We go to events with them. So, we’re not just your typical direct-to-consumer company, which is everything online. We’re a very offline company. And I’d say that makes us different.
Brittany Stewart: BURST became a real force in 2017 when we decided to take this from a beautiful idea about a better product and a better way to get it to market and really build something. And so we launched in August of 2017 at a dental convention for hygienists, and it was the two of us and two of our colleagues, Melissa and Brittany, working this dental booth. And we were like a house on fire, busy. There were no booths that looked like ours. We couldn’t even take a break. It was at this moment we realized that we had something special based on this extreme reaction from the hygiene community. So, we knew in May or June of that year that we would need some serious capital, which would be much more than an angel. And the reason for it is that things just really took off. I mean, we grew 2,500% from 2017 to 2018.
Haymish Khayat: You know, Brittany said, you know, I’ve got these guys. I think you’re going to like them. It was like the 50th meeting (with VCs). And at this point, I had said no more VCs. But we did. We took that meeting, and it was with Volition Capital and Larry, and they fully got it. They were interested in the community. They were like, ‘Can we come to an event? Can we see what people are about?’ And that made a big, big difference for me, why I continued those conversations.
Brittany Stewart: He understood and had the mental agility to really think through what the big, big vision was, which is could we become the modern oral care brand with the best products, the full suite, own the mouth, and own the dental community? And I think he really got just how powerful that could be as a company.
Larry Cheng: I’m Larry Cheng. I’m a managing partner at Volition Capital, and I’m very proud to be a board member at BURST. At first, BURST was first sourced by Mary Kate Marino, one of our analysts. And I think shortly after she reached out to Brittany and Haymish, Brittany and I met in New York City that very same week and had a lovely discussion. And then shortly thereafter, I met with Haymish and Brittany at Haymish’s swanky pad in Los Angeles.
Haymish Khayat: And he said, you know, I’d love to come to meet you before we finalize this deal. Can I come to your office? And we don’t obviously work from an office? I said, well, you are welcome to my house, and I didn’t think you would take me up on it. Really?
Larry Cheng: I honestly didn’t. How could I not? That’s the best diligence I could possibly do, was the fact that we could all get on. We went riding scooters, and everyone was just there. It was a connection. We could speak like humans. And Larry wasn’t just interested in, you know, the bottom line. And that made a big difference to me. Larry Cheng: I think in this world, you look for authentic connections with people and a passionate following. And I felt like I saw that in the first couple of meetings. First had built a proprietary channel through their hygienist network. And when you really dug into that network, you have thousands and thousands of hygienists who love the people, who first love the product, and are passionate advocates of it. I thought the retention dynamics with the brush head and other products they were selling to their customers were extremely strong – as strong as you can get within a consumer product company. And so, you’re combining a proprietary acquisition model into a very high retention sort of annuity business with tremendous product potential beyond that. So, I love that. I love the products that they make. And Haymish’s creative aesthetic is fantastic. The products we make are commodity products that exist in other retail formats. Still, the design of our products and the functionality of our products are special, and the price points are very favorable. So that that was another key strength. I love working with these two. They are the most fun team on the planet, and they are a dynamic duo behind the scenes with their highly dynamic community. In fact, in front of them, they are quite a dynamic duo and all the different events that they do together. So, this is what gets me up in the morning – to work with entrepreneurs like Haymish and Brittany. It is what it’s what makes life fun for me. So, I’m thankful to be part of the journey.