IIFL India Private Equity Fund, a PE fund launched by IIFL Asset Management Ltd (IIFL AMC), has acquired a majority stake in Infigo Life Sciences through a structured transaction.

While the company did not disclose the quantum of stake it has acquired nor the investment amount, IIFL India PE Fund said it will invest up to Rs 70 crore in multiple tranches in Infigo Life Sciences. This investment is for setting up more than 20 centres following the achievement of pre-defined business milestones, the company said in a statement.

“India is witnessing an interesting trend, with people preferring to visit branded speciality centres for their healthcare needs. In a country where most eyecare practice is individually-run and often lacks protocols or standards, there is an opportunity to create a pan-India franchise of speciality eyecare centres,” Prashasta Seth, Senior Managing Partner at IIFL AMC, said.

“The current gap in demand and supply and increasing consumer preference for branded chains presents a unique opportunity,” he added.

Infigo Life Sciences, which started with six centres – four eyecare hospitals and two 3D eye clinics in Mumbai – plans to launch a chain of comprehensive speciality eyecare centres, initially in western India.

It also plans two eyecare hospitals in the rest of Maharashtra by August. The company plans to open a total of 15 centres within one year, with 10 centres in Mumbai and the remaining five spread across Maharashtra.

Infigo Life Sciences is promoted by Dr. Shridhar Thakur (former COO at Vasan Eyecare) and Anil Kamath (ex-MD at Wockhardt Hospitals).

“There is a huge void for quality eyecare services 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 seek NABH accreditation in the immediate future,” Thakur said.

IIFL AMC launched the IIFL India PE Fund, a close-ended SEBI-registered Category II Alternative Investment Fund, in May 2018. The fund backs professional entrepreneurs at an early stage in sectors such as healthcare, technology, financial services and consumer goods.