Eyelation, a Tinley Park, IL-based provider of prescription safety eyewear, has raised $1.3 million in funding led by IrishAngels, with participation from Dallas Venture Partners and several angel investors. Eyelation enables employees at manufacturing facilities to order their prescription safety eyewear 24/7 from a kiosk that is installed on their company's premises. Since its founding in 2009, Eyelation has grown to over 250 factory locations in the U.S. and has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Honeywell. In conjunction with the financing, IrishAngels' Jordan Curnes will join the company's Board.
Eyelation's financing comes at a time when VC activity is slowing down in Illinois. Though venture capital investment in the state skyrocketed from 38 completed deals in 2009 to 140 in 2011, and from $314 million of capital invested to $2.2 billion during the same timeframe, both deal flow and capital invested have since been on the decline. The number of deals completed in the state decreased by 27% from 2011 to 2013, and capital invested dropped by a whopping 76% in that span.
2011's banner year had a lot to do with Chicago-based Groupon's $950 million funding round, but even with the mammoth financing out of the equation, the year would still set the high-water mark for capital invested in a given year in Illinois. Interestingly, though VC activity has been decreasing in the Prairie State, the median deal size seems to be on the rise, increasing from $1.5 million in 2012 to $2 million in 2013.