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ERC Eye Care raises angel funding from Ennovent, Ankur Capital and other investors 

This is the second investment by Ennovent after backing Australia-based Barefoot Power in 2009.

Assam-based ERC Eye Care Pvt Ltd, which provides low-cost eye care services for the bottom of the pyramid market, has raised an angel round of funding from Ennovent and Ankur Capital among other investors.

“It’s a market where there is high demand but limited players. They are leveraging hub and spoke model to set up vision centres and are using telemedicine to increase their reach and reduce cost. The founder of the company is from Assam and understands that market well,” Saurabh Lahoti, director – finance at Ennovent told VCCircle.

Other investors who have invested in the company include Beyond Capital Fund and Ennovent Circle member Sadeesh Raghavan. Lahoti refused to disclose quantum of the investment but said it’s below $250,000 or less than Rs 1.55 crore.

According to Lahoti, the company will use this capital to launch its first hub besides adding new vision centres. At present the company operates three vision centres in Jorhat and surrounding areas.

The company also offers optical retail, pharmacy and consultation services.

“This investment will enable ERC to not only expand the number of vision centres we operate currently but also to launch our first hub hospital. We also hope to further scale ERC’s IT systems, telemedicine facilities and quality standards,” said Dr Parveez Ubed, Guwahati based ophthalmologist who founded the company.

This hub would be able to perform around 10 cataract surgeries every day, according to Lahoti. ERC provides eye consultation services for Rs 50-100 and cataract surgery for price starting with Rs 3,000, he said.

This is Ennovent’s second investment. The fund, which invests in businesses focusing on bottom of the pyramid in low-income markets, made its debut investment in Australia-based Barefoot Power. The innovation accelerator typically invests up to €300,000 (around Rs 2.1 crore) in a single company.

Speaking about the plans of the company in future, Lahoti said for the next 18 months the company will focus on piloting the hub and spoke model but in five-seven years it aims to be a market leader in North East India.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

ERC Eye Care Pvt. Ltd. is an eye care center. It is engaged in providing eye care solutions. It offers day care consultation, diagnostic tests, medicine, eye glasses and surgical eye care services. The firm also provides eye care services to far-flung geographies and also offers optical retail, pharmacy and consultation services. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Jorhat, Assam.

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Year Founded:
Parveez Ubed

Ennovent GmbH is a venture capital firm. It provides early-stage equity and debt capital to companies operating in south and south-east Asia. The firm seeks to invest in renewable energy, healthcare, distribution, education, clean air technology, water management, organic agriculture and sustainable forestry. It typically seeks to invest between $0.13 million and $1.38 million in its portfolio companies. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in Vienna, Austria.

Ankur Capital Fund is a $7 million venture capital fund managed by Ankur Capital Advisors. It provides seed and early stage capital to companies operating in India. The fund seeks to invest in livelihoods, technology, skill development, health and education sectors. It typically invests between $1.5 million and $5 million in its portfolio companies.