Online refractive eye exam company Opternative has announced $9 million in investment financing. Trust Ventures and Pritzker Group Venture Capital led the round, with additional support from prior backer Jump Capital.
According to the announcement, the company will put toward two major goals: doubling the size of its engineering, product, sales and marketing teams; and building awareness among consumers, employers and eye care providers of its various vision tests.
Opternative offers multiple versions of its online eye exam, one specifically designed for eye care professionals and a newer voice-based version for consumers to administer using their smartphone. The latter of these takes less than 15 minutes to complete, and allows patients to renew their vision prescription from a personal device regardless of whether it has changed in the interim.
Why it matters
Online eye exams have been a point of contention over the past few years, and Opternative has been at the center of competitor lawsuits, FDA warnings and state legislation disputes. Securing a new investment round in spite of these suggests a clear vote of confidence in the company from its backers.
What’s the trend
Opternative launched its first online refractive eye exam in 2015, and a year later received a $6 million investment from Jump Capital and others. But while the company was certainly among the leaders in digital eye exams, it’s not the only one — Warby Parker became the first eye glasses retailer to enter the space last year with its Prescription Check app (the launch of which led to its lawuite with Opternative). On the other hand, EyeQue offers a visual acuity screener device for home use that resembles a VR headset.