Eyecare chain Centre for Sight raises $5M afresh from Matrix Partners, eyes $20M more by 2013-end | VCCircle
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Eyecare chain Centre for Sight raises $5M afresh from Matrix Partners, eyes $20M more by 2013-end 

BY  Lohit Jagwani
Matrix Partners committed Rs 50 crore in the firm three years ago.

New Delhi Centre for Sight Pvt Ltd, which runs its eye care chain under the Centre for Sight brand, has raised Rs 30 crore ($5 million) in a fresh funding from its existing investor Matrix Partners, sources told VCCircle.

The transaction was closed a few weeks ago and was through compulsory convertible preference shares, the source privy to the development said.

When contacted by VCCircle, Mahipal Sachdev, the company’s chairman, confirmed that the firm has raised funds afresh from Matrix Partners but declined to comment on the quantum of funding.

“We did an internal round of funding in which Matrix and I invested capital in the company. Now, we are looking at raising around $20 million more for which we have already appointed a banker,” he said.

He said the firm is looking to raise fresh funding of $20 million (Rs 120 crore) by the end of this year and has appointed o3 Capital as its investment banker.

Centre for Sight, which started in 1996, got its first round of funding of around Rs 50 crore from Matrix Partners in 2010.

Investment plan

According to Sachdev, the company is planning to invest around Rs 200 crore for its expansion in the next two to two-and-a-half years. This would be a combination of capital it would raise, internal accrual and debt.

“We are planning to add about 15-20 centres year on year,” he said.

The company, which has around 45 centres currently, is planning to have over 80 centres in the country by 2015-end. On an average, a greenfield project may cost Rs 4 crore to Rs 15 crore.
According to Sachdev, the company plans to expand through three buckets – its units within multispecialty hospitals, greenfield projects and acquisitions. However, he added that acquisitions are no longer a preferred mode of expansion since integration of acquired entities into the company is a cumbersome process.

Last year, the company acquired two firms—Shree Hi-tech Clinics Pvt Ltd and New Vision Laser Centre Ltd.

Centre for Sight is building three centres in the country at present. The Hyderabad centre is coming up with a total investment of Rs 12-14 crore. The company is also developing its flagship property in Dwarka, Delhi which would be a 60,000 sq ft facility.

“The Dwarka project will come up by FY16,” Sachdev said.

Centre for Sight at present has centres in central and north India. Through this plan, the company is looking to have a presence in states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

“In two-and-a-half years, we should almost be all over India except Tamil Nadu and Kerala because there is already a strong presence of eye care chains there,” he said.
According to Sachdev, in FY13 the company crossed revenues of Rs 100 crore and is looking to double this by FY15. The company’s top-line and bottom-line have been growing at a CAGR of 50-60 per cent year on year, he said.

Eye-care hospitals are one of the most popular investments by PE firms within single specialty segment. Recent investments include ASG Hospital receiving $5.49 million from Sequoia Capital, Vasan Healthcare receiving $100 million from GIC and Eye-Q Vision getting investment of around $9 million from Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners among others.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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