Privvy was formed as a result of a simple observation: traditional dental benefits are sorely out of touch with patients and dentists. We're on a mission to build the new standard for how people access oral healthcare.


Emile Barraza

Co-founder, CEO


Formerly a product manager on the team that helped fix Healthcare.gov- led fixes and enhancements for the consumer-facing side of the system. Deep domain knowledge in dental from working with his father’s dental practice.

-BS, Columbia University Engineering

Abi Seshadri

Co-founder, CTO


Three years fixing and improving Healthcare.gov in a lead engineer role by building backend web services that enrolled 10+ million users. All around all-star software engineer.

-BS, University of Wisconsin–Madison Engineering

Our Story

Why we started

A couple of years after college on an annual father-son trip, Emile got to talking with his dad about dental insurance. Emile's dad is a dentist and he passionately described many of the frustrations his patients and staff had experienced during his 35 years practicing dentistry. Emile looked into the issues his dad raised and came to realize just how much dental insurance had lost touch with dentists and patients.

Emile shared his research with Abi. The two friends had previously worked together at a company that helped fix Healthcare.gov, and found they shared a common interest in innovating the way people access oral health care.

They quickly found the problem was incredibly nuanced and the presence of multiple stakeholders (employers, brokers, patients, and dentists) meant that change would not be easy. So, they set out to start solving the most severe problems first while keeping their long-term focus on nothing less than building the new standard for how people access oral healthcare.

What we are doing now

If you're an independent professional or don’t get dental benefits from your employer, finding quality dental care that fits your budget is difficult. In fact, people without dental benefits are 40% less likely to visit a dentist than people with benefits.

One of the top reasons for this is that existing dental insurance options do a poor job of delivering a clear value to individuals, outside of employer-sponsored arrangements. All dental insurance plans have fine print, but it's even more complex for individuals- with things like waiting periods, deductibles, and low annual coverage maximums.

For example, the usual length of a waiting period is 6-12 months, which means that the insurance company will not help pay for any dental care, except a checkup and cleanings, until after 6-12 months of premiums have been paid.

Our approach is simple- give people access to reduced fees for dental services without the fine print that complicates access to care.

We do what we do because we want to help everyone easily get recommended care. The fact is good oral health can be maintained with regular professional care, however, if people forgo recommended care, oral bacteria will build up unchecked and inevitably cause expensive (and painful) issues like gum disease and tooth decay.