Eyoto, a spinout from Aston University’s School of Optometry, secured a £2.5M investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), WM Equity Finance Fund, managed by venture capital firm Midven.
Other investors including Mercia Asset Management, the Future Fund, and a group of angel investors also participated.
How will the funding be used?
As per the company’s claims, the investment will be used to develop existing product ranges as well as research into new technologies to further broaden its offering, which will improve accessibility to eye-care across the world and allow for better availability of eye-care practitioners.
Part of the funding will also allow the company to create new skilled jobs in Birmingham and globally.
Tackles problem in optical industry
Founded by James Wolffsohn, and Mark Dunne, Eyoto aims to tackle various problems in the optical industry through advanced technology, with a specialty in image processing, computer vision, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and ophthalmic user interface design.
Notably, the Birmingham-based company has already demonstrated success with its eMap product range which conducts rapid and detailed surface inspections of glasses for retailers and manufacturers.
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The firm is now working toward the launch of its latest product which will enable patients to undergo eye examinations remotely.
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 a 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.
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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 have a strong and growing industrial 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 seeing more companies like Eyoto contribute to the local and regional economy.”