While the coronavirus has greatly impacted Utah’s economy and changed even the business of life in general, much of the tech industry’s ability to adapt quickly has resulted in rapid growth. Byte, a medical tech company in Lehi, has been no exception, experiencing unprecedented growth with its product that provides the ability for customers to keep up with the everyday business of life while benefiting from the built-in aspect of social distancing.
Byte is a direct-to-consumer orthodontics company that 3d prints clear aligners for consumers who want straight teeth at an affordable price. CEO Neeraj Gunsagar said, “Byte was built to make the concept of orthodontics more affordable and accessible to people across the globe. We are a direct-to-consumer model, where consumers order and receive an impression kit at home, then send their impression back to the company. Within 24 to 48 hours, they have a complete digital impression of their teeth with an individualized treatment plan available. Every treatment plan is overseen by a dental or orthodontic professional in the state the consumer resides.”
Byte’s already established direct-to-consumer approach has thrived under the current circumstances. The company has seen a 1,000% year-over-year revenue growth to a $200 million run rate. In January 2020, the company’s headcount was only 100. Today, their headcount is in the 500s with most of these employees in Lehi. As the company extends globally, its office in Lehi will continue to grow to make that possible. Gunsagar said that a hub in Utah has always been in the plan. “Utah is one of the most bilingual and even trilingual states in the country,” he said. “The best customer service and the best customer experiences in the country are based in Utah.”
Customer service and trust is a core element for Byte. At the start of the pandemic, Byte was one of the first companies to pivot and produce PPE for frontline workers. Byte turned over its two manufacturing facilities to produce only PPE and ventilator parts, completely halting work on their customary product in the process. Gunsagar said, “We quickly realized that not only the N-95 masks but face shields could be developed in our manufacturing capacity. We have a tremendous amount of 3-D printers. We pivoted a lot of our manufacturing capacity to just help. In March we shipped face shields and ventilator parts to hospitals in all the hot spots.”
As needs grew, the company went a step further and opened its national hotline of dental professionals to anyone in need of care, free of charge. People could email or chat with concerns and have questions answered by a licensed dentist. ByteCares, the company’s philanthropic branch, provided dental care and aligners to those that could not afford them. For Gunsagar, helping people is what drew him to Byte in the first place. “That’s in our DNA,” he said. “We believe in our customers and in helping people first.”