Eyes on the prize after technology firm secures funding

An optometry business is keeping its eyes firmly fixed on growth after it secured £5m funding.

Aston EyeTech, a spin-out from Aston University, which has developed a range of proprietary hardware and software products in ocular care. Its products include portable low-cost equipment to assess eye health and eye tracking equipment to diagnose and manage visual fatigue.

It has received £1.8m from Midlands-based technology investor Mercia Technologies, which has invested alongside an Asian-based investment syndicate. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and launch Aston EyeTech’s latest product range.

Carl Francis, chief executive of Aston EyeTech, said: “With our cutting-edge technology, skilled team and supportive shareholders, Aston EyeTech has all the ingredients needed to disrupt the $200bn global eye health care industry.

“It is personally gratifying to see high quality investors, such as Mercia and our new Asian partners, attracted to this significant opportunity.”

Mercia’s investment follows previous seed funding through its managed funds portfolio and increases its stake to 19.4%. It invested £230,000 in 2014, which was the funder’s first investment in a spin-out from Aston University.

The company now becomes part of Mercia’s Emerging Stars portfolio of technology companies with high-growth potential.

“We have seen the business grow rapidly with an impressive team of talented individuals,” said Peter Dines, head of life sciences and biosciences at Mercia Technologies.

“We firmly believe that Aston EyeTech has significant potential to disrupt a large and growing global market.”

Aston EyeTech was created by researchers from the Ophthalmic Research Group to allow commercialisation of their intellectual property.

Click here for a comprehensive list of West Midlands deals >