The major growth funding will be used to double IbisVision’s workforce and open a US office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company is poised to ramp up sales in the US, where it is estimated there are some 110 million eye tests annually, after receiving Food and Drug Administration (FDA) listing in March. It is also looking to tap into the eyecare market of the 448 million citizens across the European Union.
Bosses said the business was already in discussions with a significant number of well-known eyecare brands to develop partnerships for its breakthrough platform.
IbisVision’s refractive technology means optometrists can run standard eye tests over the internet and enable entire optical prescriptions to be conducted remotely. Remote technology is one of the fastest-growing health sectors as people look to fit appointments into busy schedules and attend appointments with specialists who may not necessarily be nearby. The pandemic has also made patients comfortable with undergoing consultations and tests over visual links.
The funding round has been led by keynote investor Miami-based Compiler VC, led by Adam Wolman. Compiler is ranked as one of the US’s top optical sector experts, having developed and sold the For Eyes retail optician business, which has 150 locations across the States. IbisVision will be the centrepiece of a new investment fund that Compiler is establishing.
The investment into the Scots business is also supported by growth capital specialist Deepbridge and by Scottish Enterprise, through Scottish Growth Investments. All three investors are existing financial supporters of IbisVision.
Chief executive Mark Roger said: “The commitment of our investor base shows they believe strongly in our story - that eyecare will be at the vanguard of remote healthcare, and IbisVision has the technology to make this a reality. Our mission is simple - to make eyecare readily available for anyone on the planet and that distance and time will never be an impediment to getting to an eye appointment.”
Wolman said: “Not only are we delighted to build on our investment relationship with IbisVision, we’re also very excited about their plans to expand and set up a base in our home market in the US. We know the potential that this technology can bring to optometrists around the country and our expertise in the eyecare industry means that we can help IbisVision with its growth plans. But our ambitions for IbisVision extend well beyond the US and we believe the company's technology could become the global standard for remote eyecare examinations.”
Ben Carter, head of life sciences at Deepbridge. added: “The continued progress of IbisVision shows the UK healthtech industry can compete at the highest level. We are pleased to continue supporting this pioneering business whose technology has the potential to benefit patients globally.”
IbisVision’s technology is used in healthcare kiosks across India, while the company has worked closely with the NHS to make eye appointments and aftercare more efficient.