India’s Lenskart Raises $220 Million

Indian-based online eyewear retailer Lenskart has raised $220 million in its latest round of funding. Investors include Temaesk Holdings Pte and Falcon Edge Capital. Earlier this year Lenskart had raised another $95 million in investment from KKR & Co. The company plans to use the funds to add additional brick-and-mortar stores in India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Some of the funds will also be used to expand the company’s online sales.

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More about Lenskart

Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd. was founded by Peyush Bansal in 2010 in Faridabad outside New Delhi. Japanese Softbank Group Corp. was one of the early backers of Lenskart. The company has 750 retail outlets across India. They sell eyeglasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses via their online portal lenskart.com. During a video call announcing the funds raised, 37-year-old Bansal said, “Every vertical from apparel to footwear, aside from eyewear, has been disrupted globally. We can easily spend two decades solving the problem of awareness, penetration, and affordability in eyewear.” After the latest round of funding, Lenskart is now valued at $2.5 billion added Bansal.

Over the past year, the company sold over 8 million pairs of eyewear. They aim to grow by an additional 30% by March 2022. According to Lenskart’s projects, the market opportunity for eyewear will be worth $15 billion by 2025. Lenskart claims to be the biggest eyewear seller in India. The company’s goal is to achieve a dominant position in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

About Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal

Peyush is a graduate of Montreal’s McGill University. After graduation, he worked at Microsoft Corp. in the United States. He returned to India approximately 15 years ago and became an entrepreneur. His first venture was a startup aimed at solving the housing challenges that college students face. However, Bansal quickly realized that there was more money in eyewear and pivoted. In his own words, Bansal spoke about the company’s profitability, “India is the blind capital of the world, and about half of its 1.3 billion people need glasses. We turned profitable at the company level before the pandemic were in the red during the peak of the first and second waves and have returned to green again.”

India’s tech startup boom

India’s tech industry has been gaining a lot of steam over the past year. There is a lot of international interest in the sector. Zomato Ltd., a food delivery app, became India’s first unicorn to debut on the stock market. The company raised $1.3 billion on its debut. Paytm, the digital payments juggernaut has also filed a draft prospectus. Paytm anticipates that it will have the country's largest-ever IPO.

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