Aston University spin out company nets £5m investment

aston eyetech
Aston EyeTech, developing cutting-edge technology in eye healthcare industry

17 November 2017

  • Aston EyeTech will use funding to accelerate development of cutting-edge technology
  • New products out in 2018 are “bold, game-changing and enhance way eye healthcare is delivered” globally

Aston EyeTech, a spin out company from Aston University, announced today, 17 November, it has netted a £5m cash injection to accelerate product development and help launch its latest eye diagnostics technology.  

The new range – launching in 2018 – includes power mapping lens meters, binocular auto refractors, and a company cloud-connected mobile diagnostic platform that integrates portable hardware, Artificial Intelligence-driven software systems, and large scale data analytics.

Aston EyeTech is a hugely successful spin out company created by researchers from the Ophthalmic Research Group in Aston University’s Optometry Department, an international leader in optometry research and professional training.

The company achieved its first small seed investment in 2014 and has grown steadily from developer to equipment manufacturer to full technology solutions provider. The new funding includes £1.8m from specialist UK investment group Mercia Technologies PLC and funding from a major Asia-based investment syndicate. 

Carl D Francis, Chief Executive of Aston EyeTech, said: “With our cutting-edge technology, great team and supportive shareholders, Aston EyeTech has all the ingredients to seriously disrupt the $200bn worldwide eye healthcare industry. I find it personally very gratifying to see quality investors such as Mercia and our new Asian partners attracted to the awesome global opportunity we are developing.”    

Emphasising the company’s ambitions, he added: “This investment gives us the financial firepower to really transform the dynamics of the vision healthcare space. Our products coming out in 2018 will be bold, game-changing, and enhance the way that eye healthcare is delivered around the world. 

“Everything we do is focused on delivering increased portability, wider accessibility, and lower cost across the industry.”

Peter Dines, Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences at Mercia Technologies PLC, said: “Having worked closely with Aston EyeTech over the past three years, initially investing at seed stage, we have seen the business grow rapidly with an impressive team of talented individuals. 

“We are pleased to continue to support the business as it joins our direct investment portfolio. This is another example of the high quality businesses that Mercia’s team has sourced both regionally and via our university partners. We firmly believe that Aston EyeTech has significant potential to disrupt a large and growing global market.”


Notes to the editor

About Aston EyeTech:  Aston EyeTech Limited is a 2014 spinout from Aston University’s Optometry Department. The company was founded to build on both the biomedical engineering work of Dr Tom Drew, now CTO of the company, and a unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) based ophthalmic diagnosis support platform. It is now developing a range of hardware and software products specifically to exploit recent advances in artificial intelligence, low cost / high performance optics, and mobile processing power. 

For further information, go to, call 0121 573 0180 or email

About Mercia Technologies PLC:  Mercia Technologies PLC (AIM: MERC) is a UK-based national investment group focused on the funding and scaling of innovative technology businesses with high growth potential from the UK regions.

For further information, go to or call 0330 223 1430

About Aston University:  Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality, and strong links to business and the professions. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

For further information, call Susi Turner, press office, on 0121 204 4978 or email  

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