Birmingham optometry manufacturer eyes expansion following £2.5M investment

investment jar

Birmingham-based tele-optometry manufacturer Eyoto, has secured funding from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) WM Equity Finance Fund, managed by venture capital firm Midven as part of a £2.5M funding round. Other investors in the round included Mercia Asset Management, the Future Fund, and a group of angel investors.

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Launched in 2013, from an Aston University School of Optometry project, Eyoto combines its knowledge of the tech and medical sectors to develop innovative tele-optometry services. The company has been involved in the ground-breaking development of technology that has transformed traditional optical health services.

The firm is now working toward the launch of its latest product which will enable patients to undergo eye examinations remotely, a hugely significant development that is set to revolutionise the industry, especially in light of the current pandemic.

The investment will be used to develop existing product ranges as well as research into new technologies and will also enable the creation of jobs both in Birmingham and internationally.

Carl Francis, Eyoto CEO, says: “We at Eyoto have all the ingredients to become a major force within the embryonic field of tele-optometry: a great team, a range of game-changing technologies and, as this funding round proves, supportive investors. We’re delighted to welcome Roger and the MEIF team as a new investor”.

Roger Wood, Midven Director and MEIF Principal, says: “Midven has a long-standing relationship with Eyoto and has followed its product development progress closely over recent years. The opportunity to invest in the current round, and support an extremely experienced management team, coincides with a market environment which is extremely helpful for product launch with a pre-identified commercial partner.”

Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank said: “This latest investment into Eyoto, a spinout from Aston University, demonstrates the MEIF’s commitment to supporting equity investments across the Midlands, as we continue to help improve access to finance in the region. This funding package illustrates collaboration between MEIF fund managers and angel investors and shows how MEIF is playing a key role in bringing additional private sector investment into innovative businesses across the Midlands.

Tim Pile, Chair of Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, said: “The continued growth of Eyoto is a fantastic example of how the public and academic sectors can support business from early development to real-life application. We are thrilled to see companies like this continue to grow in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Greater Birmingham and Solihull has a strong and growing industry base of health technology companies. We offer a rich eco-system for healthcare innovation and the LEP itself is investing money in businesses support and skills to enable the development of an industry cluster. We are looking forward to see more companies like Eyoto contribute to the local and regional economy.”

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