Innovation & Enterprise


Ingenious toothbrush gadget gets backing from Unilever

26 January 2017

UCL startup Playbrush has signed a deal with consumer goods giant Unilever to launch a co-branded version of its products for the French market this year.

Paul Varga, founder of Playbrush

Playbrush, a gadget that ‘makes a game’ out of using a toothbrush, was founded in 2014 by Paul Varga, an alumnus of UCL’s MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship, alongside co-alumnus Toulope Ogunsina. The company has since sold 75,000 Playbrushes internationally.

“Our co-operation with Unilever is another great step in the Playbrush journey,” said Paul. “It'll helps us to bring even more Playbrushes to children and support them with their daily oral care.”

Playbrush motivates children to brush their teeth by making it exciting and fun. Consisting of instructional mobile games that are connected to a specially designed add-on for conventional toothbrushes, Playbrush helps children – and young-at-heart adults – to enjoy oral hygiene and improve their brushing skills.

In 2014 Playbrush won £5,000 in the UCL Bright Ideas Awards to help kick start their business. They were tenants in the UCL Hatchery and received regular one-to-one advice from UCL Business Advisors. Currently, Playbrush are tenants in BaseKX, UCL Innovation & Enterprise’s incubator and enterprise startup space in King’s Cross, London.

“We're immensely grateful for all UCL’s support,” said Paul. “Without it, we wouldn't have been able to close deals such as this one so quickly.”

Lilian Shapiro, Business Advisor, UCL Innovation & Enterprise, said: “I'm truly delighted with the continuing success of Playbrush, due in no small part to the entrepreneurial skills and perisistence of co-founder Paul Varga.

“I was lucky enough to advise Paul over the course of several of his business ideas; he gained valuable experience in each of them, and never gave up his belief that he would one day start a successful business.”

To date, the company has sold over 75,000 Playbrushes, launched four games and one app for parents, and received high profile media coverage and awards in more than 25 countries. It's also secured more than £1m in capital from various investors, including Speedinvest and Hansi Hansman (Hansmengroup).


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