In an era where medtech startups face daunting fundraising challenges, especially due to substantial capital requirements, easee, a pioneer in digital eyecare testing, presents a compelling case study.
Since its inception in 2016, easee has innovated the traditional eyecare industry with its innovative online eye exam, achieving the significant distinction of being the first and only CE-certified online eye exam with refraction capabilities under the EU Medical Device Regulation.
A global decline in venture capital funding in 2023, with total global VC funding falling to $221B from $381B the previous year, has had an impact on the broader funding landscape for medtech startups, particularly in Europe. This 42 per cent decrease reflects a more cautious investment approach, with a significant impact on seed-stage funding, which saw a decrease in the median funding round size to $2M.
Medtech startups are now required to demonstrate not just innovative solutions but also robust business models and clear paths to market success to attract investment. Amidst these challenges, easee’s journey represents an interesting blend of technological innovation and strategic adaptation to the evolving funding environment.
Confronted with the rigors of securing funding in an increasingly cautious investment climate, easee’s Founder & CEO, Yves Prevoo, initially considered traditional equity rounds with venture capitalists and family offices. However, recognising the shift in investor behaviour towards more established business cases/more developed companies, Prevoo pivoted towards a more inclusive and strategic approach.
This shift in strategy was also influenced by the broader market’s cautious response to easee, despite its accolades, including the Rabobank Duurzame Innovatieprijs 2023.
In a bold move, easee embarked on public fundraising and crowdfunding, a path less travelled in the MedTech sector. With an initial commitment of €425,000 from shareholders (including their existing VC Nimbus Investment Fund) and the management team, the company demonstrated skin-in-the-game and the confidence and support of its key stakeholders. This initial backing paved the way for opening investment opportunities to new investors.
This journey led easee to collaborate with crowdfunding platforms like OnePlanetCrowd, targeting impact investors, and Invesdor, focusing on MedTech investors. The campaign was a success, raising an additional €515,000, bringing the total to €940,000.
This funding is earmarked for the commercial rollout in the medical market and the development of a solution for monitoring child myopia.
Currently, easee is extending its investment round through SeedBlink, seeking to engage more European technology enthusiasts in its mission.
This extension represents not just a funding opportunity but an invitation to be part of a venture that stands at the intersection of technology and societal impact, aiming to address and offer a solution to the global child myopia crisis.
Easee is an emerging international leader in digital eyecare, specialising in telemonitoring and hybrid care pathways. Founded by a team of visionaries, doctors, and technology experts, Easee is committed to transforming the delivery of eye care worldwide.
Its online eye exam platform, now certified under the new MDR, exemplifies its innovative approach, combining medical expertise with cutting-edge technology to offer accessible and accurate eye measurements including full refraction.
The company collaborates with healthcare providers and governments to advance digital healthcare solutions.