December 5, 2023

Chrys Capital has invested $100 million in Lenskart, the two companies said on Thursday, bringing the Asian eyewear startup’s funding to $850 million in the past year as it expands its product range and expands its international presence force.

The Indian private equity firm will buy $100 million worth of Lenskart shares through primary and secondary transactions, the two said. The new investment follows Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s announcement of plans to invest $500 million in Lenskart. The investment, like ChrysCapital’s infusion, is an extension of last year’s financing. About $450 million of this year’s $600 million in fundraising was secondary deals.

“ChrysCapital is one of the most respected Indian equity partners and I am honored to have them by our side. The incidence of myopia is rapidly increasing globally, especially in Asia including There is a huge unsolved problem in awareness. We believe that with the help of technology, customer centricity, and significant investment in supply chain and talent, we can eradicate vision correction,” Lenskart founder and CEO Peyush Bansal said in a statement Indicated.

The 12-year-old Indian eyewear startup sells glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and other eyewear accessories, and its backers include SoftBank and Alpha Wave Global. By offering quality eyewear at cheap prices, it has set itself apart from the competition and has become one of the largest eyewear producers in India.

Bansal told TechCrunch in a recent interview that Lenskart was able to keep prices low because it brought greater efficiencies to the eyewear industry. The company has built up expertise in making its own eyeglasses and contact lenses, and for many technologies it is the exclusive licensing partner of global companies in India, he said.

The start-up currently operates in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, selling its eye products online and in more than 2,000 stores, three-quarters of which are in India. The startup is opening more than seven stores a week and plans to produce 20 million pairs of glasses next year.

Hundreds of millions of Indians need vision correction, but only a small percentage currently wear glasses or contact lenses. Bansal said the company will continue to expand its presence in India and existing international markets where it operates, as these markets remain severely underserved.

But what is helping Lenskart and the eyewear industry in general, he says, is how quickly Indians are embracing eyewear. People buy as many as four pairs of glasses every two years, and that number is approaching five, he said, suggesting a similar prevalence when it comes to sneakers.

The start-up is also slowly expanding its premium line, thanks to the acquisition of Japanese eyewear brand OwnDays and its new in-house brands such as John Jacobs.

“ChrysCapital is pleased to support a strong, executive-focused management team that has established a dominant market leadership position in eyewear. Lenskart has been instrumental in developing this market, supported by its commitment to exceptional customer satisfaction With a strong commitment to affordability, affordability and reliability. With the acquisition of Owndays, Lenskart has the opportunity to expand beyond the already large Indian market to more than 10 Asian countries,” said Rajiv Batra, senior vice president at ChrysCapital, in a statement.