Lenskart Raises $95 Mn From KKR
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Eyewear retailer Lenskart, and global investment firm KKR, announced on Monday the signing of definitive agreements under which KKR will invest $95 million in Lenskart via a secondary stake acquisition.
Upon the completion of the transaction, KKR will look to leverage its experience working with leading technology and eyewear companies globally to support Lenskart in expanding its presence in India, scaling its growing operations overseas, and enhancing its digital offerings to augment customers’ virtual and omni-store experience.
As part of the transaction, existing investors TPG Growth and TR Capital, who first invested in Lenskart in late 2014, will each divest a portion of their holding in the Company.
Lenskart was launched with a vision to revolutionize eyewear in India and now globally. Established in 2010, the company today is the largest service provider for eyewear in India, serving over seven million customers annually through its omnichannel shopping experience, which spans online, mobile application, and 730 omnichannel stores in 175 cities across the country.
“At Lenskart, we are obsessed with our customers, technology, and making world a better place through easily accessible, best-quality eyewear. More than 600 million people in India and 4.5 billion people globally need vision correction, but only a fraction of them use it due to a lack of access, awareness, and high-quality, affordable solutions. Lenskart was founded to address this gap by leveraging technology to make eyewear accessible to everyone – first in India, and now worldwide. We are also working on the larger human agenda of improving people’s quality of life by allowing them to ‘Be More and Do More’ with their eyewear through our innovative products such as Lenskart Airflex, E-lock, neuroscience lenses, and Lenskart BLU,” said Peyush Bansal, chief executive officer, Lenskart.
In 2019, Lenskart also expanded to Singapore – marking its foray into Southeast Asia – where it is now a key service provider for optical.
“I feel we are still scratching the surface and have a lot of work to do over next 10 years in India and globally. In the next five years, we aspire to have 50% of India wearing our specs. Today’s announcement is a milestone and a step towards that goal. We are thrilled to welcome KKR as an investor given their significant experience working with leading global eyewear retailers such as national vision and 1-800 contacts as well as technology-focused businesses globally. We look forward to working alongside KKR to elevate Lenskart to its next phase of growth,” Bansal added.
KKR is making its investment from its Asian private equity fund. Lenskart is KKR’s latest investment that supports industry-leading consumer companies enabled by technology. Recent technology-focused investments for KKR in Asia include Adopt A Cow, a digitalized, direct-to-consumer dairy company in China, NetStars, the operator of Japan's largest QR code payment gateway, and Walnut Programming, a children’s programming education company in China.
“As a technology-driven business, Lenskart is a strong, homegrown disruptor in India’s rapidly expanding eyewear industry. We are truly excited to work with Peyush and Lenskart’s impressive management team to support Lenskart’s growth and innovation in India and internationally, in addition to advancing its mission to provide affordable, accessible eyewear products for everyone,” remarked Gaurav Trehan, partner, KKR.
Avendus Capital advised Lenskart on the transaction. Additional details of the transaction are not disclosed.