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22 November 2017

Aston Eyetech spots $6.6m series A

The ocular device spinout hopes to rapidly develop portable devices for eye testing powered by artificial intelligence software.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Aston Eyetech, a UK-based ocular device spinout from Aston University, has raised £5m ($6.6m) in series A funding from commercialisation firm Mercia Technologies and an undisclosed Asia-based investment syndicate.

Mercia contributed £1.8m to the funding round, acquiring a 19.4% stake in the company.

Founded in 2013, Aston Eyetech is building digital machines to monitor eye health for ophthalmological conditions. The artificial intelligence-powered devices are designed to be more portable than conventional models to help reach patients who are unable to attend appointments.

The funding will enable expedited development and the release of a new product range. The business claims rapid prototyping – a combination of computer-aided design, manufacturing and 3D printing – can reduce its development window to less than six months.

Aston Eyetech is based on research from the Ophthalmic Research Group at Aston University.

One of Mercia Technologies’ subsidiaries, Mercia Fund Management, injected $375,000 in Aston Eyetech in 2014. Deals database PitchBook also recorded $450,000 provided by VC firm Midven and undisclosed backers in 2015.

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 healthcare industry.

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

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