Meet The World’s First Black-Owned, Woman-Owned Contact Lens Manufacturer

Black-owned asset management firm, Black Pearl Global Investments, is set to make history by becoming the first-ever Black-owned contact lens manufacturer in the world.

Black Pearl Global Investments, co-founded in 2019 by CEO Dr. Shante WilliamsDr. Carl SmartMarlon Joris, and Daniel Smart, is an asset management firm that invests in companies innovating the health space. The platform’s primary focus is helping upcoming businesses operating in North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. 

The lens maker, Hydrogel Vision Corp (HVC), based in Florida, was acquired by Clerio Vision in 2019. The company is primarily known for its ultra-hydrating contact lens that retains moisture and provides various options for people with smaller or narrower eyelids. 

“We’re looking forward to helping to deliver more responsive vision products for people of color and bringing more diversity to the optometry space,” said Dr. Williams. 

“Globally, we want to help more people see clearly, including providing better diagnoses, accessing providers, and delivering medications. So we will continue to push forward with research and development on the material as well as the manufacturing process.” 

Black Pearl Global Investments’ acquisition is set to be finalized by mid-September, ultimately making them the only Black-owned and woman-owned contact lens manufacturer. The firm already has its eyes set on launching a new range of products that will ensure Black and brown people remain at the forefront of the brand’s focus. 

The deal will also see the firm acquire the 33,926 square-foot Food and Drug Administration (FDA) facility in Sarasota. In addition, the firm plans to incorporate more space so upcoming businesses can comfortably conduct research, development, and manufacturing.  

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpamika is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.