Matrix Partners India has picked a minority stake in Kolkata-based Bengal Speech & Hearing Pvt Ltd, which runs an audiology and speech therapy chain under the brand Hearing Plus, for an undisclosed amount.
VCCircle had first reported that Bengal Speech & Hearing is raising around $5 million in VC funding. The company spokesperson had denied the development at that time.
The company, which was launched in 2006 by speech therapist Somenath Mukherjee, provides consulting services like hearing aid trial, speech therapy, cochlear implant and does tests like pure tone audiometry, used to identify hearing threshold of an individual.
It runs one of the largest hearing aid and speech therapy clinics in eastern India, according to its website which lists a little over a dozen centres in the home state. It plans to expand its operations across the country to over 100 clinics and has recently started operations in Mumbai and will focus on expanding in metros henceforth.
Apart from providing consultancy in its clinics, the company acts as a distributor of hearing aids and has presence in Kolkata, Siliguri, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati apart from other cities.
Somenath Mukherjee, founder and managing director, Hearing Plus, said, “As social taboo related to wearing hearing aids wanes, I founded Hearing Plus to address patient needs with focus on affordability and convenience. From Kolkata in 2006, we see ourselves as pan India network by 2015.”
The firm had a single outlet till 2012 and has expanded aggressive over the last two years.
Another firm in the business which is in talks for venture capital funding is Delhi-based Meenakshi Speech and Hearing Clinics Pvt Ltd.
Asish Mohapatra, director, Matrix India, said, “Hearing disability is amongst the most common but easily addressable ailment. We believe that Hearing Plus approach to address access, awareness and affordability will go a long way to improve quality of life of millions.”
Matrix Partners India is an investment firm with Rs 3,000 crore under management. It invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer market at the seed, early and early growth stages. In healthcare it has invested in Centre For Sight, Cloudnine, Mewar Ortho, Enhance, Meditrina and Techmed.
Hearing Plus comes across as the fifth new investment for the VC firm since January this year, besides additional investment in other portfolio firms.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)