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Maker of Device That Snaps on to Smartphone For Quick Eye Exams Seeks $2.5M


Posted in Mobile Health by Arundhati Parmar on June 27, 2013

Massachusetts-based EyeNetra, which has created a device with related software that can snap on to a smartphone for users to get an eye test for glasses and access a network of care providers, is seeking to raise $2.5 million, according to a regulatory filing.

The company has already raised $2 million. Founded in 2011, EyeNetra raised another $1 million in 2012. The goal of the company is to disrupt the global eye care market with a mobile diagnostic tool. EyeNetra is led by David Schafran, a social entrepreneur and former researcher at the MIT Media Lab.

The company makes the Netra-G diagnostic adapter that attaches to any smartphone that is loaded with the company's software app. After following instruction, users can get measurements for glasses on their phone with minimal training, according to the website. That makes eye exams accessible to innumerable people who would otherwise have to travel to a care provider to get an exam. The technology is able to measure nearsightedness, farsightedness as well as astigmatism.

The company also believes that in addition to expanding the ability for people to get eye exams without having to travel to a trained professional, EyeNetra significantly reduces the cost burden: Refractive eye exams can cost up to $300, the website notes. The product is aimed at the 2.4 billion people around the world that the company estimates needs glasses but can't get them. 

One of the investors of the firm is Khosla Impact. Founded by Vinod Khosla, entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Khosla Impact aims to fund entrepreneurs whose products are aimed at the unprivileged or what the firm describes as the "three billion people at the bottom of the world’s economic pyramid."

Here's a video of Schafran presenting at the Morgenthaler DC to VC startup competition in 2011 hosted by premier venture capital firm Morgenthaler Ventures. EyeNetra went on to win among the finalists seeking seed stage funding. 

-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI


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