Mojo Vision sees $51M round for its smart, vision-improving contact lens

To help boost a person’s sight, the smart contact lens could display higher-contrast image overlays and visual aids to help avoid obstacles. (Mojo Vision)

Mojo Vision raised an additional $51 million for its smart contact lens project—including the development of a tiny augmented reality display that would sit just above the pupil which could help people with impaired vision better navigate their surroundings.

Led by New Enterprise Associates, the series B-1 round brings the company’s total funding to $159 million. Additional backers included Gradient Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Liberty Global Ventures, Struck Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, Fusion Fund, Intellectus Partners, KDDI Open Innovation Fund, Numbase Group, InFocus Capital Partners and others.

The Mojo Lens is also designed to provide hands-free information, such as turn-by-turn directions or notifications—but the company hopes to offer ways to boost a person’s sight as well. This could include higher-contrast image overlays and visual aids to help avoid obstacles.

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“The unveiling of the details of our product development earlier this year has generated increased excitement and momentum around the potential of Mojo Lens,” said CEO and co-founder Drew Perkins. “It gets us closer to bringing the benefits of Mojo Lens to people with vision impairments, to enterprises and eventually, consumers.”

Mojo Vision’s smart contact lens received a breakthrough device designation from the FDA in January after coming out of stealth, and the company recently began working with the Palo Alto-based Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired to help gather feedback on its designs. It also said it is currently conducting feasibility clinical studies to help iterate and improve its prototype device.

NEA venture partner Greg Papadopoulos joined the company’s board of directors following the series B-1, and after co-leading Mojo Vision’s previous seed round. Papadopoulos was previously chief technology officer of Sun Microsystems and an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.

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