(PRESS RELEASE) BIRMINGHAM, UK - Aston EyeTech, a developer of eye diagnostics technology, announced that it has completed a £5 million (US $6.7 million) Series A funding round.
The company will use the funding to accelerate product development and support the 2018 launch of its new products. Those products include a range of power-mapping lensmeters, binocular autorefractors and the company’s cloud-connected mobile diagnostic platform, which integrates portable hardware, artificial intelligence-driven software systems and large-scale data analytics.
The UK-based company is a 2014 spinout from Aston University's School of Optometry, an international leader in optometry research and professional training. Aston EyeTech received its first small seed investment in 2014 and since then has grown from developer to equipment manufacturer to full technology solutions provider.
The company’s Series A was led by Mercia Technologies PLC, a UK investment group focused on funding innovative technology businesses with high growth potential. Mercia invested in this funding round alongside a major Asia-based investment syndicate.
Carl D. Francis, chief executive of Aston EyeTech, said: “With our cutting-edge technology, great team, and supportive shareholders, Aston EyeTech has all the ingredients to seriously disrupt the $200bn worldwide eye healthcare industry. I find it personally very gratifying to see quality investors such as Mercia and our new Asian partners attracted to the awesome global opportunity we are developing.”
Emphasizing the company’s ambitions, Francis added: “This investment gives us the financial firepower to really transform the dynamics of the vision healthcare space. Our products coming out in 2018 will be bold, game-changing, and enhance the way that eye healthcare is delivered around the world. Everything we do is focused on delivering increased portability, wider accessibility, and lower cost across the industry.”
E Dean Butler, founder of LensCrafters (now part of Luxottica Group SpA) and Vision Express in Europe (now part of GrandVision NV), is a non-executive director on the board of Aston EyeTech. He said: “I have been in this industry for 40 years, and these guys are special. Nobody else can do what they do, and the products and approach they are taking is like nothing this industry has ever seen.”
Peter Dines, head of life sciences and biosciences at Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “Having worked closely with Aston EyeTech over the past three years, initially investing at seed stage, we have seen the business grow rapidly with an impressive team of talented individuals. We are pleased to continue to support the business as it joins our direct investment portfolio. This is another example of the high quality businesses that Mercia’s team has sourced both regionally and via our university partners. We firmly believe that Aston EyeTech has significant potential to disrupt a large and growing global market.”
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