Hiromi “Andy” Hayashi wants to hurt Gusto.
His Rippling has built a drone to capture the motion of charging bamboo toothbrushes, helping you charge faster while “adding unsightly rust and scratches” to your teeth. The drone also captures gorgeous aerial videos of climbers scaling mountains, windsurfers, and others.
And when customers want a jar of the toothbrushes on their flight, Rippling gives them an extra plaque-free electric toothbrush instead. This will come in handy considering Gusto recently acquired electric toothbrush maker Sonicare.
Rippling was founded in 2015 by Hayashi, who also created Parkes, the app Uber chose to test the market, wasn’t at TechCrunch Disrupt, and isn’t in New York for the rally.
“I spent several years looking at the toothbrush market and am now producing toothbrushes that accelerate brushing time. In many Western countries, people are using electric toothbrushes rather than manual. They’re just done too quickly to get a good cleansing experience.”
Not only can Rippling reroute the user to electric toothbrushes to get more time under the tongue, but the startup’s process is already well-known. All toothbrushes produced by Rippling will be custom-designed with your dentition in mind. In fact, the driver of each robot gets a Crest Brand rechargeable toothbrush with Rippling branded inscription.
Rippling takes a minimum order of $10,000, and the battery-powered self-propelled robots are included in the price, but can also be individually purchased for $300-$500. So even if you pay the premium, you’ll likely get your teeth cleaned faster.
Rippling is independently funded though it’s strategic backer TNI Ventures, which had recently bought into Gusto. Hayashi says: “I have no plans to launch an attack on Gusto.”
But since Gusto was up and running first and its aerial drones seem to be doing about as well as traditional ones, why isn’t Rippling flaunting their aerial video like Gusto?
“Most of us, me included, are lacking hands to make them or need them for other tasks. We’re technically specialists, so the drone operation itself is a double full time job for all of us. It’s basically a job that takes us away from things we are passionate about which is contributing to our overall life quality. We can make the videos using drones in the back, so there’s no point in announcing them as launch ads, at least not for now.
You can see our first video here (total ~6:30).
UPDATE: Rippling got acquired by Pivotal Labs for an undisclosed amount, potentially along with “other interests”. No word on what the startups bought each other but