An eye care technology start-up based in Birmingham has raised £5m to support its ambitions of disrupting the global optometry industry.

Mercia Technologies has invested £1.8m to acquire a 19.4 per cent equity stake in Aston EyeTech, a spin-out of Aston University in Birmingham which has developed a range of proprietary hardware and software products in ocular care.

The funding will be used to accelerate product development and launch Aston EyeTech's latest state-of-the-art product range.     

Aston EyeTech is already revenue generating and aims to disrupt the optometry industry by combining portable and digital eye tests with artificial intelligence-driven software platforms.

"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," said chief executive Carl Francis.

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

Peter Dines, head of life sciences and biosciences at Mercia Technologies, added: "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."

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