Eyewear Unicorn Lenskart Secures $220 million, To Expand in Asia and Middle East | MENA startups, innovation, and tech news

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Eyewear Unicorn Lenskart Secures $220 million, To Expand in Asia and Middle East
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Eyewear Unicorn Lenskart Secures $220 million, To Expand in Asia and Middle East

Omni-channel eyewear brand Lenskart, secured $220 million in a funding round that was led by Temasek Holdings Pte and Falcon Edge Capital. The round also witnessed the participation of existing investors Bay Capital and Chiratae Ventures, valuing the startup at $2.5 billion.

Avendus Capitalacted as theexclusive financial advisor to Lenskart and its shareholders during the funding round. This round of funding comes on the heels of the firm raising $95 million from global equity player KKR, taking the total transaction size to $315 million in a couple of months. Among other prominent investors, Lenskart is backed by Kedaara Capital,Softbank, Steadview Capital, and Premji Invest.

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Founded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhury, and Sumeet Kapathi, the Faridabad-based startup achieved unicorn status in 2019 after it raised $231 million from Japan’s Softbank, making it the first D2C brand to enter the club. The company grew to be profitable in the financial year of 2020. The company claims that it reaches 1,00,000 customers every month. It has been handling over 7 million customers annually through its omni-channel shopping experience, which spans over more than 750 omni-channel storefronts across 175 cities in India, as well as online, mobile application. The company expanded its business on foreign soil in 2019 when it entered Singapore and also has active presence in West Asia and the US. Last year, Lenskart sold nearly 8 million pairs of glasses and aims to raise that number by 30% in the fiscal year ending March 2022.

The startup recently launched ‘Lenskart Vision Fund’ with a goal to create a rich ecosystem around the eyewear segment by investing in startups that are synergistic to eyewear, eye care, and omnichannel e-commerce.

The eyewear unicorn intends to use the freshly raised funds to broaden its base in India and to scale its operations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It plans to benefit from Temasek and Falcon Edge’s strong experience and infrastructure in these regions. Temasek is a Singapore-based global investment firm, while Falcon Edge Capital is a diversified international alternative asset manager based in Miami, London, New York, Tel Aviv, and Bengaluru. Lenskart is already the leading eyewear brand in India and the top 3 in Singapore. Lenskart’s market potential in Southeast Asia and the Middle East is expected to cross $15 billion by 2025.

Besides global expansion, Lenskart is also looking to use the funds to increase its investments in technology and AI-driven innovations to offer a highly personalised experience for its customers.

Navroz Udwadia, co-founder and partner at Falcon Edge Capital says that they have been admirers of Lenskart for several years. He also added that they are “thrilled to join the team in this journey” and are “looking forward to work closely” with them “in helping them scale their business internationally, especially in the MENA region.”

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