Occuity, a Thames Valley-based medical technology start-up, has smashed its £1.8m investment target just 24 hours after its launch on leading crowdfunding platform, Seedrs. With the round still open, the company now plan to ‘overfund’ to allow them to accelerate the development of their innovative optical devices.
CEO and Co-founder Dr. Dan Daly said: “We’re delighted with the level of interest we have received during this finance round and are thrilled that we are now overfunding. To date we have now raised over £2m which will allow us to accelerate the development of our new optical screening and monitoring devices that aim to detect the early signs of chronic health conditions by scanning the human eye.”
Founded in 2019, Occuity has developed and patented its contactless optical technology to obtain precise measurements from the eye. Occuity’s vision is to use the eye as a window into the health of the body and to utilise their non-invasive, non-contact handheld technology to bring a range of new medical devices to market which use this technology for ophthalmic examinations, diabetes management, pre-diabetes screening and, in the longer term, the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr Dan Daly added: “Diabetes is a very personal issue and of course, once you have it, it’s likely with you for the rest of your life. As our long-term products will be personal use meters for people with diabetes, we wanted to give our community of 8,000 people with diabetes the opportunity to become full shareholders in our business and to join us on this journey to try to improve their lives.”
Occuity intend to use the capital from this round to continue to build their team. Having already grown from a team of 10 in December 2020 to over 35 now, the company intends to continue to recruit the brightest minds in their fields bringing jobs to Reading and the Thames Valley. The company anticipates employing 100 staff by 2023.”
The roll-out plan for Occuity’s new medical devices includes:
- Occuity’s first device, the PM1 Pachymeter, is aimed at the optometry market and measures corneal thickness with micrometre level precision. This is due to begin clinical testing and is expected to be approved for use in the EU by early 2022.
- The company plans to launch a pre-diabetes screening device in 2024 to allow mass testing for the emerging signs of Type 2 diabetes at pharmacies and opticians.
- In 2025, it intends to introduce a personal non-invasive optical glucose monitor that will enable people with diabetes to monitor their blood-sugar levels without drawing blood.
- Occuity hopes that its research and development will also support the delivery of a routine screening device capable of detecting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease by identifying biomarkers deposited in the eye.
Design Director, Daniele De Iuliis, said: “The work we are doing at Occuity is hugely exciting, presenting the opportunity to deliver a step-change over the next decade in optometry practice and the way chronic diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s are detected and managed.
“Thanks to Occuity’s ingenuity, it is becoming possible to detect and manage debilitating health conditions through a quick, non-contact eye scan.”
“It’s important to all of us that the devices we’re developing will be kinder, more intuitive and more convenient than existing technologies, and they will be accessible to all.”