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Exclusive: SpecCheck eyes $4M seed to modernize optometry

Illustration of an eye chart with dollar signs instead of letters.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

SpecCheck, a provider of optical billing and customer management tools, closed a $3.7 million seed round, CEO Joe DeMaria tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Optometry still largely runs on handwritten and faxed orders, and SpecCheck hopes its tools can help modernize the sector.

Details: Initialized Capital led the round and Y Combinator participated.

  • Funds will go towards growing the team, expanding its network of labs and eye doctors, and adding more features to the platform.
  • DeMaria declined to say when he foresees SpecCheck collecting a Series A.

How it works: The Los Angeles-based startup offers billing, ordering, and customer management software to optical providers, labs, and patients. It includes tools for...

  • Lab payment, order submission and status updates, communication with lab partners via live chat, and one-click patient email notifications.
  • Optical labs pay to join SpecCheck's network, and SpecCheck takes a fee when the lab receives orders and when payments are made through the platform.

The backstory: DeMaria, a trained optician, pitched the idea for SpecCheck to co-founder and CTO Arnold Villatoro in Los Angeles, where he was working on payments infrastructure at Lyft as an engineer.

State of play: There are few startups in the optical software sector, but several companies are working on eye care in other ways. For example...

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