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Startup Raises $1.8M for Contact Lens Service

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It’s designed as “an alternative to established vision care plans.”

Vision care startup Sightbox has raised $1.8 million to fund a new service that it says “combines popular aspects of vision insurance, online retail, and customer service” for people who wear contact lenses.

Company founder Travis Rush “hopes to offer an alternative to established vision care plans by bundling eye exams with an annual supply of contact lenses and extending a payment plan to customers that allows them to pay over time,” according to a press release from the firm.

Sightbox markets its annual membership service for $39 per month to individual contact lens wearers. Rush said that the company will also begin offering membership enrollment options through employers, with plans offered alongside other more traditional health and vision benefits. The new funding will assist in this expansion.

Rush said Sightbox encourages members to visit their eye doctor once a year — and “we actually schedule the appointment for them.”

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Rogue Venture Partners, an Oregon-based venture capital fund, led the investment in Sightbox.

“They jumped out to us because their product demonstrates incredible focus on a specific consumer problem within the vision industry,” said Tom Sperry, co-founder and managing director of the fund. “Sightbox has already created a significant advantage in an area that has historically either been overlooked by the slower-moving big players, or not fit into their brands or business models.”

Other participants in the funding round include Jumpstart Foundry, a Nashville-based healthcare innovation fund; Portland Seed Fund, an early-stage venture fund focused on Pacific Northwest companies; and VistaRiver Healthcare Solutions, a comprehensive healthcare service provider.

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