Bristle joins Y Combinator Winter 21 batch

Danny Grannick
May 5, 2021
Company Updates
2
minute read

We're thrilled to announce our acceptance and funding from Y Combinator (YC) for the Winter 2021 batch!

YC is a startup fund and program. Since 2005, YC has invested in nearly 3,000 companies, including Airbnb, DoorDash, Stripe, TruePill, Gingko Bioworks, and Atomwise (and my productivity kryptonite, Reddit). The combined valuation of YC companies is over $300B. YC has programs and resources that support founders throughout the life of their company.

Bristle is leveraging the oral microbiome to develop at-home tests and products for oral health. We analyze the bacteria, fungi, and viruses in your saliva to detect and alert you to the earliest signs of cavities and gum disease — then provide personalized recommendations and preventive treatments to stop them from getting worse.

Infectious microbes drive cavities and gum disease, but today’s tools, like X-rays and observational screenings, only detect the damage they already caused, like tooth decay and bleeding gums. By the time they are caught, they’ve often become serious issues that require the invasive procedures we all dread — fillings and root canals. We spend billions of dollars reactively treating diseases that can be prevented.

We’ve known for a long time that there is a connection between oral and systemic health, and new technologies are allowing us to look behind the curtain and understand how they influence one another. Many of the same bacteria that cause gum disease are linked to increased risk or progression of other conditions, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Improving oral health is a fundamental step that anyone can take to improve their overall health. Factors including cost, access, and outdated tools have resulted in a system where patients actively avoid care and ignore obvious signs of disease — until they can’t.

Healthcare has made incredible strides over the last decade. Companies like Invitae, Everlywell, and Ro are delivering better care to more patients faster. New technologies are changing the standard of care in areas including oncology, rare genetic disease, and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) — and while there is still a lot of room for improvement, we should be proud of how far we’ve come.

We’re racing to tackle some of the biggest problems in care while forgetting the ones (literally) right beneath our nose.

Y Combinator was among our first supporters and has been relentless in helping us grow. We are privileged to have worked with our YC partners Jared, Tim, and Surbhi — and genuinely don’t know where we would be without them.

An overview of our principles are below. If you’re interested in our work and would like to learn more, explore our website or reach out to info@bristlehealth.com.

Bristle’s Principles:

  1. Shift the standard of care from reactively treating disease to proactively managing health
  2. Democratizing access to care through affordable, accessible, and effective tests to enable preventive treatment
  3. Advance our understanding of oral health, the oral microbiome, and their role in our overall health

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