Mercia Technologies PLC, the national investment group focused on the funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions, is pleased to announce a new direct investment into Aston EyeTech Limited, a spinout from Aston University, Birmingham, which has developed a range of proprietary hardware and software products in ocular care.
Mercia’s investment of £1.8million gives the Group a direct equity stake of 19.4% and is part of a £5million Series A funding round, alongside an Asian-based investment syndicate. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and launch Aston EyeTech’s latest state-of-the-art product range.
The Birmingham-based company is a spinout from the UK’s top ranked School of Optometry at Aston University, one of Mercia’s 19 university partners. Aston EyeTech is already revenue generating and aims to disrupt the optometry industry by combining high quality portable and digital eye tests with artificial intelligence driven software platforms. As with Mercia’s other direct investments, Aston EyeTech has been supported within Mercia’s managed funds portfolio through seed and its early stages of development before now becoming a new direct investment Emerging Star.
Carl Francis, CEO of Aston EyeTech, said: “With our cutting-edge technology, skilled team and supportive shareholders, Aston EyeTech has all the ingredients needed to disrupt the $200billion 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.”
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Peter Dines, Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences at Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “Having worked closely with the Aston EyeTech over the past three years, initially investing at seed stage from our managed funds and providing commercial and strategic guidance as a Board member, 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.”