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11 January, 2018 - 11:14 By Kate Sweeney

Eye opener as law firm advises on significant deal

Law firm Mills & Reeve has completed a £5 million equity round for leading investment group Mercia Technologies PLC into Aston EyeTech Limited, the developer of next generation eye diagnostics equipment.

Aston EyeTech will use the funding to focus on product development and launch of some exciting new products including a mobile diagnostic platform which integrates hardware, artificial intelligence (AI) and large scale data analytics allowing the clinic to travel to the client rather than the other way around.

Aston EyeTech was spun out from Aston University’s School of Optometry in 2014, an international leader in optometry research and professional training.

The company received its first seed investment in 2014 from one of the Mercia Growth Funds, managed by Mercia Fund Managers, and since then has grown from developer to equipment manufacturer to full technology solutions provider. The company has the components to disrupt the global optometry industry and this new funding will help it achieve that.

Mercia Technologies PLC, a UK investment group focused on funding innovative technology businesses, invested alongside a major Asia-based investment syndicate.

Peter Dines, head of Life Sciences and Biosciences at Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “We invested in Aston EyeTech from our managed funds right at the beginning, following its spinout from Aston University. We’ve seen the business grow rapidly with an impressive team of people who push at the boundaries of this fascinating sector.”

Carl Francis, chief executive of Aston EyeTech added: “With our cutting-edge technology, skilled team and supportive shareholders, Aston EyeTech has all the ingredients needed to disrupt the $200 billion global eye healthcare industry. It is personally gratifying to see high quality investors, such as Mercia and our new Asian partners, attracted to this significant opportunity.”

Zickie Lim, partner at Mills & Reeve, led the Cambridge-based law firm’s advisory team. She said: “It’s great to have completed another investment for Mercia Technologies into one of their rising stars from their Growth Funds portfolio. We’re always excited to be involved in an investment that opens up so many opportunities for a business to scale and expand both nationally and internationally.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Zickie Lim

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