ChrysCapital, an Indian private equity firm, has invested $100 million in eyewear start-up Lenskart. This funding round brings the unicorn's total capital raise in the past year to $850 million, facilitating its expansion of offerings and international reach.
During this investment, Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor for Lenskart and its shareholders.
The investment by ChrysCapital involves the purchase of shares worth $100 million in Lenskart through primary and secondary transactions. It follows the recent announcement by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) of its plans to invest $500 million in Lenskart. Both investments extend the previous funding round, which valued Lenskart at approximately $4.5 billion.
Rajiv Batra, SVP at ChrysCapital, expressed excitement in supporting Lenskart's management team, recognizing the company's dominant market leadership position in the eyewear segment. He believes that with the acquisition of OwnDays, the eyewear start-up has the opportunity to expand its presence across more than ten Asian countries in addition to its already substantial market share in India.
Peyush Bansal, founder and CEO of Lenskart, expressed his delight about having ChrysCapital as a partner, citing the growing global incidences of myopia, particularly in Asia. By leveraging technology, customer centricity, and substantial investments in the supply chain and talent, he noted that Lenskart can address the challenges of access, affordability, and awareness related to vision correction.
The funding will fuel Lenskart's growth plans, including its expansion into Asian and Middle Eastern markets. Additionally, it aims to enhance its customer base through vertical integration, leveraging a new manufacturing facility to maintain competitive prices, ensure superior delivery times, and exceed customer expectations.
Lenskart's recent achievements also include its acquisition of a controlling stake in the Japanese direct-to-consumer eyewear brand OwnDays for $400 million in June 2022. This strategic move solidifies Lenskart's position as one of the leading omnichannel players in the Asian eyewear market. Lenskart's new manufacturing facility is expected to produce 20 million eyewear pieces annually, with shipments set to commence in 2024.
Established 12 years ago, the start-up has become one of the leading players in the Indian eyewear market. Backed by investors like SoftBank and Alpha Wave Global, it offers a range of eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, and other eyewear accessories.
Lenskart has developed expertise in manufacturing its own eyeglasses and contact lenses and exclusive licensing partnerships with global firms in India. With operations in India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, it sells its eye products through an omnichannel approach, encompassing online sales and over 2,000 physical stores, of which three-fourths are in India.
The company is rapidly expanding its retail footprint, opening more than seven stores per week. Furthermore, Lenskart plans to manufacture 20 million pairs of glasses next year.
The adoption of glasses among Indians has surged, with people purchasing up to four pairs every two years, a number that is steadily increasing. Lenskart is capitalizing on this trend and gradually expanding its premium offerings. The acquisition of Japanese eyewear brand OwnDays and the introduction of in-house brands like John Jacobs have enabled Lenskart to enhance its product portfolio.