Acumen Fund, a not for profit venture capital firm, has invested $2 million in Andhra Pradesh based Pushpagiri Health Care Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. which runs an advanced eyecare centre Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute (PVRI). The company provides specialised eye care services to the poor, and also operates mobile outreach units that conduct eye camps to screen for diabetic retinopathy, a disease that leads to blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.
The investment will enable PVRI to build two additional hospitals and expand its reach to approximately 50% of Andhra Pradesh, India’s fifth most populous state with 75 million people.
PVRI focuses primarily on diabetic blindness, childhood blindness and corneal blindness, apart from existing causes of blindness due to cataracts and glaucoma. Its central hospital located at Secunderabad is used as a hub, with outreach clinics, screening and treatment camps serving as spokes to maximise its reach and ensure that its services are accessible to rural markets.
Since its inception in 2007, PVRI has treated more than 25,000 patients, performed over thousands of surgeries and I.P. procedures, and conducted over 100 comprehensive eye care camps in the state of Andhra Pradesh, a release said.
Acumen Fund is a New York based fund that invests in entrepreneurs who are building businesses to serve the poor. The fund has made several investments in Indian healthcare sector.
Acumen has also announced an investment in Kenya based eyecare centre Upper Hill Eye and Laser Centre (UHEAL).
“PVRI and UHEAL exemplify Acumen Fund’s continued commitment to invest in scalable businesses that provide critical goods and services to the world’s poor,” said Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz. “Both will teach us valuable lessons about how best to deliver eye care services to low-income communities as we seek to build a global model to provide sight-saving services to consumers at the base of the economic pyramid.”
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