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December 17, 2013

Deal Alert: Ennovent, Ankur Capital, others back Assam eye care chain ERC

Ennovent Impact Investment Holding and Ankur Capital along with Ennovent Circle members, Beyond Capital Fund and Sadeesh Raghavan closed an angel investment round in Assam-based eye care company, ERC Eye Care Pvt. Ltd (ERC) today.

The investment in ERC is the second investment made by Ennovent’s Impact Investment Holding and also the third deal facilitated by the Ennovent Circle – an exclusive group that collaborates to accelerate innovations for low-income markets – since it’s launch in April 2012.

According to the World Health Organization, 18.8% of Indians suffering from cataracts belong to the state of Assam. Founded by Guwahati based ophthalmologist, Dr.Parveez Ubed, ERC provides affordable, quality eye care to underserved communities in North East India through a hub and spoke model with vision centre's, satellite clinics and a hub hospital. ERC also offers primary medical services such as optical retail, pharmacy and consultation services.

ERC's current setup includes 3 vision centers in Jorhat and nearby areas. The company also runs camps to reach out to smaller villages where setting up centres is not economically viable. For its work, ERC has won several awards including Mahindra Spark the Rise and Eureka of IIT Mumbai amongst others.

With this investment, ERC aims to expand their operations and provide affordable, accessible and inclusive eye care across the various districts of Northeast India.

“This investment will enable ERC to not only expand the number of vision centres we operate currently but also to launch our first hub hospital. We also hope to further scale ERC’s IT systems, telemedicine facilities and quality standards”, says Dr. Ubed.

Speaking about the investment, Saurabh Lahoti, Director – Finance at Ennovent says, “ERC delivers strong value by leveraging the hub and spoke model to deliver quality eye care services at a cost lower than the opportunity cost of travelling to a nearby district for similar services.”

The Northeastern states of India have the highest prevalence of blindness in the country. In Assam, ERC is making an impact by keeping its capital and operating expenditures low; thereby enabling the company to providing affordable eye care, especially in the remote villages that have hitherto not had access to such services.

Ennovent Circle member and angel investor, Sadeesh Raghavan, further adds, “ERC with its portfolio of eye care services is backed by a passionate team and will impart a huge social impact in Assam where limited healthcare infrastructure, especially for eye care exists. The Ennovent Circle has done a tremendous job in matching high potential sustainable enterprises working in low-income markets such as ERC with like-minded angel and institutional impact investors.”

About Ennovent
Ennovent is an innovation accelerator. We provide services to accelerate for-profit innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. We specialise in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 25,000 Network members, 16 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 115 innovations in 10 countries. www.ennovent.com

About ERC Eye Care Pvt. Ltd.

ERC provides affordable, quality eye care to underserved communities in North East India through a hub & spoke model with vision centres, satellite clinics and a hub hospital. ERC also offers primary medical services such as optical retail, pharmacy and consultation services. Since commencing operations in May 2011, ERC operates three vision centres and runs 10 vision camps a month in remote villages across Assam.

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