Dealflow | June 17, 2019

Lok exits as affordable eyecare company Disha raises $4 million

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, June 17 – Delhi-based Lok Capital started 15 years ago in microfinance then expanded to the healthcare sector in 2013, backing a low-income eye care provider out of Bangalore. Lok has now exited that provider, Disha Medical Services, with the company’s closing of $4 million in Series C funding.

Disha launched in 2011 to compensate for India’s shortage of eye care specialists, which makes it particularly difficult for rural and low-income patients to access care. The company, which operates as Drishti, runs specialist eye hospitals and a branch network of remote vision centers and mobile clinics. Its hub-and-spoke model provides screenings through the smaller facilities and diagnosis and treatment through the larger hospitals.

Lok Capital, which backs early stage companies catering to low-income customers, invested in Disha six years ago via its second fund, now called Sarva Capital. At the time, Lok’s Vishal Mehta noted its support for Disha as its first healthcare investment because of the company’s combination of “geographic access for [underserved populations] along with low cost options to the poor.”

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Insitor Impact Asia Fund, the Nilekani family office and several high net worth individuals’ participation in Disha’s Series C round enabled Lok/Sarva’s exit. In anticipation of the exit, Mehta told ImpactAlpha that Lok expected to make about a 15% internal rate of return. 

The funding will allow Disha to expand from six hospitals to 10, and beyond its home state of Karnataka.