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2015-05-14

Villgro invests in Pune-based biomedical device startup Nayam Innovations

Since 2001, Villgro has incubated 109 such enterprises, generated around 4000 jobs.

Villgro, a social enterprise incubator, supporting innovators and social entrepreneurs has announced a new addition to the investment and incubation portfolio – Nayam Innovations. 

Since 2001, Villgro has incubated 109 such enterprises, generated around 4000 jobs, secured Rs 1124 million in follow-on funding, and touched over 15 million lives.

Nayam Innovations, a biomedical device start-up founded by two IIT-Bombay engineers, is developing an artificial implant of the eye to treat cataract and its post-surgical refractive error complications using its proprietary technology.

Every year, more than 20 million cataract surgeries happen in the World, of which about 6.5 million happen in India. By 2020, this number will go up to 32 million and 8 million respectively. Cataract surgery often leaves patients with sub-optimal vision and dependent on spectacles or having to resort to more expensive corrective technology. For the poor in India, both options are not feasible.

“A number of patients have significant refractive errors after cataract surgery and are dependent on spectacles throughout their lives. Good quality spectacle lenses are not available across India which can affect the productivity of working population,” said Madan Deshpande, chief medical director of HV Desai eye hospital.

Nayam Innovations is creating a product that gives better outcomes but at 1/10th the cost to the majority of low and middle-income populations in India and other parts of the world.

“Vision impairment and poverty are inextricably linked.  In resource-poor settings, it determines one’s prospects for education, employment and dignity of life. For the poor in India, poor vision means low productivity and loss of daily wage. Using cutting-edge technology we want to improve the quality of life of millions of patients,” said S Ponrathnam, Chief Scientist, Nayam Innovations and retired CSIR scientist. 

“We are excited by the impact this product could have in the future in restoring clear vision to millions of people around the world,” said Mukesh Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Villgro. “Through this investment, Villgro is backing an excellent team, an innovation with tremendous potential, and an enterprise with scope for scale and long-term impact.”

The company is incubated at Pune-based Venture Center, which is also a co-investor in the Company. It has also won the Biotechnology Ignition Grant of BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council), which works to strengthen and empower innovation research capacities of biotech entrepreneurs.

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