With a fresh $2 million Simple Contacts looks to cut refill costs for lenses

Simple Contacts, a new startup launched by a former Techstars entrepreneur-in-residence and the co-founder of the 3D printing startup Sols, is looking to make the process of refilling contacts cheaper and more affordable.

The company started from a pain that founder Joel Wish felt all too acutely. A lifetime wearer of contact lenses, Wish was pretty appalled by the cost of getting refills of the same prescriptions — a process that can cost well over $100.

Wishing for a better way, Wish, a serial entrepreneur and former Techstars entrepreneur-in-residence, launched Simple Contacts. Roughly, 80 percent of contact lens wearers visit an optometrist only to get the same prescription.

The trips, costly and time-consuming, are unnecessary with today’s mobile technology, Wish says. So he came up with a better way. Simple Contacts focuses the benefits of digital health and online consultations with a specific niche market that has recurring revenue and an easily addressable pain point.

Using a standard ophthalmological test administered through a mobile device and verified by a licensed ophthalmologist, users can expect to see a fresh prescription and a new supply of contacts ordered in minutes.

The contacts then arrive on a users’ doorstep.

The app is available in 20 states, including New York and California, and the company has managed to rake in $2 million in seed-stage funding.

The company’s seed round was led by Autonomous Ventures (the fund launched by Tikhon Bernstraum) and included angels like Justin Kan (founder of Twitch and Justin.tv) along with a number of doctors. Richard Park, the founder of the CityMD network of urgent care clinics, also participated in the financing.