WonderSmile, a direct-to-consumer clear aligner company with offices in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore, appears to have discontinued all business operations as of earlier this week. To-date, WonderSmile has not communicated a clear or consistent message regarding future plans for its business.
Drwondersmile.com currently displays a message indicating they’ll be “back online shortly.” On the other hand, many of its clinic locations are now listed as “permanently closed.” Meanwhile, WonderSmile customers have reported on online forums that they were instructed by WonderSmile to request chargebacks from their credit card companies for unfulfilled orders. We have also uncovered corporate filings in Australia indicating possible plans by WonderSmile management to voluntarily wind down its business entities.
We reached out to WonderSmile through its customer support email to ask about their current status and received this response:
Thank you for contacting Wondersmile. We are currently updating our business operations so we can come back with better quality products and customer service. As a result our clinics aren’t open at this time would recommend you see your local dentist who can help with achieving your desired smile
WonderSmile is one of several startups in recent years to have launched a direct-to-consumer, teledentistry based clear aligner service. WonderSmile competed internationally alongside a number of other direct-to-consumer aligner businesses, including SmileDirectClub and Byte. It attempted to carve out a lane for itself within this market by offering especially affordable pricing and innovative service-offerings such as a night based treatment plans.
We are hopeful that WonderSmile will be able to work through its current challenges, and in particular that it will find a suitable resolution for existing customers, who appear to be left with unanswered questions about whether promised service levels and guarantees will be honored.
We will continue to cover this story as it develops. If you are aware of any additional information, please send us tips at email@example.com.
— Updates and Corrections: June 29, 2022 —
There have been a several important updates and developments since we originally published this story:
Mistaken UK company reference
We previously referenced and linked to a UK company record, Wonder Smile LTD, which we assumed (incorrectly) was affiliated with WonderSmile. A commenter pointed out that a different company record, Wonder Smile Group Limited, appears to be the correct entity under which WonderSmile is currently licensed to do business in the UK. Wonder Smile Group Limited does not appear to have made any application to be struck from the UK company registry, and the entity appears to remain in good standing.
Confirmation that WonderSmile AU is undergoing Administration
We have confirmed that WonderSmile’s Australia corporate entity, WONDER SMILE PTY LTD, has entered into voluntary administration. Westburn Advisory was appointed by WonderSmile as the administrator. An Australian company ordinarily enters into the voluntary administration on account of illiquidity and inability to fulfill its obligations. To the best of our understanding, Westburn Advisory now has full legal control over the assets of WONDER SMILE PTY LTD, and is obligated to pursue the best possible outcome for WONDER SMILE PTY LTD’s creditors – including its AU based customers for whom WonderSmile has not fulfilled all of its commitments – in accordance with applicable AU law. Based on our correspondence with industry contacts, I have learned that Westburn Advisory is accepting offers on the assets of WONDER SMILE PTY LTD and that it plans to hold a meeting no later than 6 July 2022 to determine the future of the business.
We have not, up to this point, been able to determine the following:
- Which assets (including customer data) are owned by WONDER SMILE PTY LTD, as opposed to other WonderSmile entities registered in other countries.
- How customer liabilities (i.e. obligations to fulfill customer orders) are allocated with respect WonderSmile’s various corporate affiliates (in different countries where they operate)
A new company, APAC Dental, claims to be “taking over” WonderSmile’s intellectual property
Several WonderSmile customers on an unofficial WonderSmile support forum have shared emails recently received from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com stating that a company called APAC Dental is in the process of purchasing WonderSmile’s intellectual property and that it plans to fulfill certain customer orders on behalf of WonderSmile.
These communications appear to be inconsistent with the process and protocols for voluntary administration laid out in the Westburn Advisory notice to creditors. No assignment of the WonderSmile property, including WonderSmile’s customer contact information, has been or can be duly authorized prior to prior to an important meeting of the creditors scheduled for early July. WonderSmile customers have posted correspondence with Westburn Advisory confirming that these communications from APAC Dental were not authorized, and stating that Westburn Advisory is investigating the matter.
According to the WHOIS database, the domain apacdentalab.com was registered very recently on June 21, 2022. We have been unable to find any information about APAC Dental, including whether there is any relationship between this company and WonderSmile’s owners and managers.