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Acumen Fund Announces Two Investments Providing Advanced Eye Care Services in India and Kenya
Date:11/5/2009

Investments to Help Develop Global Models for Delivering Eye Care to the Poor

(PRWEB) November 5, 2009 -- Acumen Fund, a nonprofit venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs who are building businesses to serve the poor, announced today two new investments, Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute (PVRI) in India and Upper Hill Eye and Laser Centre (UHEAL) in Kenya, both of which provide advanced eye care services to the poor. PVRI and UHEAL provide access for all to specialized eye care services and operate mobile outreach units that conduct eye camps to screen for diabetic retinopathy, a disease that leads to blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Acumen Fund’s USD 2,000,000 investment in PVRI through Pushpagiri Health Care Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. will enable the business to build two additional hospitals and expand its reach to approximately 50% of Andhra Pradesh, India’s fifth most populous state with 75 million people. Acumen Fund’s USD 300,000 investment in UHEAL will provide the burgeoning business with the necessary funding to purchase specialized eye equipment and meet working capital costs.

“PVRI and UHEAL exemplify Acumen Fund’s continued commitment to invest in scalable businesses that provide critical goods and services to the world’s poor,” said Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz. “Both will teach us valuable lessons about how best to deliver eye care services to low-income communities as we seek to build a global model to provide sight-saving services to consumers at the base of the economic pyramid.”

Loss of eye sight has a tremendous economic and social impact on low-income families, eliminating the ability of at least one person to earn an income and often requiring substantial assistance from at least one other family member. The prevalence of blindness is partly a symptom of underlying
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