India: IIFL AMC fund invests $10m in eye care chain Infigo Lifesciences

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IIFL India Private Equity Fund, a private equity fund managed by IIFL Asset Management Ltd (IIFL AMC), has bought a majority stake in eye care hospital chain Infigo Lifesciences for ₹70 crore (approximately $10.14 million)

The fund plans to make the investment in several tranches based on the company attaining predetermined business milestones of setting up over 20 eye care hospitals.

“There is a huge void for quality eye care service at an affordable cost and IIFL’s support and guidance will help us fill this void and build an accountable institution with qualitative clinical outcomes. All our hospitals will be eyeing at NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers) accreditation in immediate future,” said Shridhar Thakur, founder, Infigo Lifesciences.

The chain is promoted by Thakur, former chief operating officer at Vasan Eye Care, and Anil Kamath, former managing director at Wockhardt Hospitals. It plans to open 15 comprehensive speciality eye care centres in Maharashtra within a year, with two eye care hospitals slated to open in August.

Of the 15, ten centres would be opened in Mumbai and the remainder across Maharashtra, adding to its existing portfolio of six centres in Mumbai.

“India is witnessing an interesting trend with people preferring to visit branded speciality centres for their healthcare needs. In a country where most eye care practices are individually-run and often lack protocols or standards, there is an opportunity to create a pan-India franchise of speciality eye care centres. The current gap in demand and supply and increasing consumer preference for branded chains presents a unique opportunity,” said Prashasta Seth, senior managing partner, IIFL AMC.

IIFL AMC had started the IIFL India Private Equity Fund, a close-ended Sebi-registered Category II Alternative Investment Fund, in May last year to invest in early-stage firms in healthcare, technology, financial services and consumer goods sectors.

In April, the fund picked up a significant minority stake in analytics company Neewee Analytics Pvt. Ltd, which focuses on the manufacturing sector and licenses its products under the brand Bodhee.

From its previous fund, IIFL Seed Ventures Fund 1, the firm had invested in companies like Poncho Hospitality (Box8), Kogta Financial and Shopsense Technologies.

Lately, speciality eye care hospitals in India have seen strong interest from private equity firms.

On 11 June, the Press Trust of India reported that eye care firm Disha Medical Services had raised Series C funding of $4 million (over ₹27 crore) from Insitor Impact Asia Fund, the Nilekani Family Office and other high net worth individuals.

In May, Mahindra Partners, the private equity and corporate investment arm of the Mahindra Group, announced its acquisition of an undisclosed stake in New Delhi-based eye care chain, Centre for Sight for ₹206.5 crore providing a complete exit to its early venture capital investor Matrix Partners.

In February, Singapore government-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings invested ₹270 crore in Chennai-based chain of eye-care hospitals, Dr Agarwal’s Health Care Ltd.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.