IFC may lead $10M Series D round of funding in Eye-Q along with existing investors

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank, is leading a Rs 60 crore ($9.7 million) round in Eye-Q Vision Pvt Ltd, which runs eye care hospitals in North and West India. Existing investors are also taking part in this round.

IFC proposes to invest up to Rs 34 crore ($5.5 million) for minority stake and the balance Rs 26 crore would be invested by existing investors, as per a disclosure by IFC. It didn't name the investors but the firm counts Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners and SONG Fund as previous investors. It could not be immediately ascertained if all of these three would participate.

In the Series C round last year Helion and Nexus had put in additional money into the company.

When contacted by VCCircle for more information, Rajat Goel, co-founder of Eye-Q, said, "We are in a fundraise situation but nothing is finalised with any investor yet."

Separate email queries sent to the spokespersons of Helion, Nexus and SONG Fund did not elicit any response till the time of writing this article.

Gurgaon-headquartered Eye-Q will use the funding for further expansion of its network in India.

Eye-Q, which was co-founded by Goel and Ajay Sharma in 2007, operates a chain of 28 specialty eye care centres spread across 19 cities in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat and Delhi. The firm offers several eye care services including treatment and surgery for cataract, LASIK, cornea, refractive, glaucoma and retina.

This would be the fourth round of funding raised by the company. Last year, Eye-Q raised Rs 25 crore ($4.5 million) from two of the three existing investors.

Helion Venture Partners, which led the Series B round around three years ago, participated in that round of funding along with Nexus Venture Partners.

Eye-Q had initially raised Rs 10 crore from SONG Fund in 2010 and then raised around Rs 45 crore from Helion and Nexus in 2011.

The proposed deal may push it to become second-most funded player among its peers.

Eye-care segment, which is a high margin business and a mature business model, has been getting a lot of investor attention. Vasan Healthcare, New Delhi Centre for Sight and Medfort Maxivision are the other prominent funded players in the business.

For IFC, one of the most active private investors in India, this would be second investment in the healthcare services sector after it backed dialysis chain NephroPlus.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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