SINGAPORE, 17 January, 2018 – ERC Eye Care (ERC), an impact enterprise that delivers accessible, affordable and inclusive eye care to low-income persons in Northeast India, has raised a US$1 million pre-Series A round. A consortium of five investors was brought together by Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), led by existing investors Ankur Capital and Ennovent. Amongst the round’s investors was a strategic investment from the North East Development Finance Initiative (NEDFi), a Government of India initiative making its first impact-focused investment. Two international investors from Japan and Europe also participated in the consortium. IIX worked with ERC this year through its award-winning IIX ACTS accelerator program that provided investment-readiness, impact assessment and capital raise services to the company.
ERC has already established two specialist eye care hospitals in Assam, offering glasses for under a dollar and cataract surgeries for under 20 dollars. The funding from this round will support the development of two new hospitals, each supported by mobile vans to reach rural populations for diagnosis. The investment will allow ERC to provide improved healthcare services and impact the lives of over 1.5 million people over the next five years.
“The active engagement of the IIX team throughout the entire year has not only helped us in better impact creation and assessment but also facilitated fine tuning of the business model to make it more investable,” expressed Founder of ERC Eye Care, Dr Parveez Ubed. He added, “The successful closing of this round highlights the potential for companies serving the bottom of the pyramid, even in relatively isolated markets such as the Northeast of India.”
Robert Kraybill, Managing Director of IIX, further explains, “ERC Eye Care is a prime example of how impact enterprises can fill huge market gaps providing significant value to poor clients while simultaneously offering attractive opportunities to investors. IIX is proud to have been able to assemble an international consortium to fund ERC’s expansion. The support of these investors validates ERC’s strong business and impact case.”
Dr. Parveez Ubed will be featured in IIX’s new podcast series with Knowledge@Wharton “From Back Street to Wall Street” in January 2018 where he will share his insights from creating ERC Eye Care and thoughts on how impact investing can help deliver healthcare to the last mile.
About IIX: Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that builds pathways to connect backstreets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world through impact investing. IIX investment platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 40 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$1 billion of impact investment capital, impacting 65 million lives by 2022.
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