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Hubble raises $16.5 million to deliver affordable daily contact lenses

Hubble raises $16.5 million to deliver affordable daily contact lenses
From TechCrunch - March 7, 2017

A subscription commerce startup that sells its own brand of daily disposable contact lenses, Hubble, has raised $16.5 million in a new round of venture funding just five months after having launched its service publicly. One might say the deal happened in the blink of an eye for the startup, which is incorporated as Vision Path Inc.

Co-founded by Ben Cogan and Jesse Horwitz, Hubble sells contact lenses with a power range from negative 0.50 through negative 12.0 today. Customers pay $30 fora monthly supply shipped right to their door, which works out toabout fifty cents per lens. Most other daily disposable contacts sold in the US cost twice as much, at least, the cofounders said.

The startup plans to use its new funding, in part, to roll out toric lenses for customers with astigmatism. It will also use the funding for marketing and hiring. Part of Hubbles marketing plan is to give customers help findingeye doctors nearby where they can get updated prescriptions.We used to do a lot of outreach to private practices to see if they wanted to receive fitting sets of Hubble lenses that their patients could try. Now its a lot more inbound, Cogan said.

To produce its lenses, Hubble has forged an exclusive partnership with an existing FDA-approved manufacturer, Taiwan-based St. Shine Optical. Manufacturing contacts would require you to build a factory, which could take you reasonably at least a year and a lot of capital which most startups dont have. Then youd need to go through the FDA reviews and approval process, which would take another 18 months on top of that, Horwitz explained. Over time, Hubble plans to invest in new machines or robotics to expand its lines and relationship with St. Shine.

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