Lenskart Funding: Secures $600M, Offers Big Exit to Investors

Eyewear startup Lenskart has recently secured an impressive $600 million in funding across two rounds this year, providing a significant exit opportunity for several existing investors, including SoftBank. This infusion of liquidity is unique and happens amidst a difficult period of limited funding in the market.

This blog includes everything that you must know related to the latest Lenskart Funding, which is already making news in the Indian stock market.

Lenskart Funding History: Key highlights

Lenskart, the eyewear startup, has experienced a remarkable funding journey, securing substantial investments and paving the way for its growth and market dominance. 

Here is a brief overview of Lenskart’s funding history:

  • In March 2023, Lenskart raised a remarkable $500 million in a funding round led by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).
  • Following the March funding, Lenskart continued its funding streak by securing an additional $100 million in June 2023, with the investment coming from ChrysCapital.
  • Approximately 80% of the total $600 million raised in the funding rounds was through secondary sales, providing early investors, including SoftBank, with a significant exit opportunity.
  • The remaining $100-150 million was a primary fund infusion, injecting fresh capital into Lenskart to fuel its expansion and strategic initiatives.
  • Notable investors such as Chiratae Ventures, Premji Invest, Unilazer Ventures, Kedaara Capital, SoftBank, and KKR partially sold their stakes during the funding rounds.
  • Lenskart’s impressive funding success has enabled it to raise over $1.6 billion to date, with nearly $850 million secured in the past year alone.

Significant Funding Rounds and Breakdown

The funding rounds consisted of a $500 million investment in March from a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and an additional $100 million infusion on June 15 from ChrysCapital. Of the total $600 million raised, around 80 percent or $450-500 million, came from secondary sales, while the remaining $100-150 million constituted primary funding.

Exit for Early Backers and Investor Participation

Prominent investors such as Chiratae Ventures, Premji Invest, Unilazer Ventures led by Ronnie Screwvala, Kedaara Capital, SoftBank, and KKR partially divested their stakes during these two funding rounds, selling them to ChrysCapital and ADIA. The secondary share sale took place at a discount of 20-25 percent, valuing Lenskart at approximately $3.7-$3.8 billion, compared to its current valuation of $4.3 billion.

Impressive Milestone for Lenskart Funding 

With the latest funding, Lenskart’s total capital raised has crossed the $1.6 billion mark, with nearly $850 million secured in the past year alone. This achievement is particularly noteworthy, given the prevailing funding winter and the challenging macroeconomic environment.

Strengthening Market Position and Competing with Giants

While a substantial portion of the funding involved secondary sales, the primary infusion has armed Lenskart to compete with industry giants like Tata’s Titan Eyeplus and brace for the entry of Reliance Retail into the eyewear space. The primary funding will also support Lenskart in expanding its offline presence, a crucial aspect as an increasing number of direct-to-consumer (D2C) startups seek to accelerate their omnichannel strategies.

Challenges in the Competitive Eyewear Market

However, the eyewear market is highly competitive, with players such as Coolwinks, Lawrence & Mayo, GKB Lens, Ray-Ban, and many others, posing additional challenges for Lenskart’s scaling efforts.

New Factory and Financial Performance

To bolster its operations, Lenskart has announced the imminent launch of a new factory that will manufacture and ship 20 million pairs of eyewear next year. The company reported a 60 percent revenue growth for the second consecutive year and achieved profitability, despite incurring losses in FY22. Lenskart recorded an operating income of Rs 1,503 crore in FY22, a significant 66 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year.

Peyush Bansal’s Vision and Growth Plans

Peyush Bansal, the co-founder and CEO of Lenskart, expressed confidence in the company’s vision, stating, “With the help of technology, customer centricity, and big investments in the supply chain and talent, we can eradicate the problem of vision correction. Eyewear as a lifestyle category is at a very early stage in its evolution, and there is a lot of opportunity to make glasses that can uplift our quality of life significantly, as seen in shoes, apparel, and watches.”

Expansion and International Market Penetration

With a customer base of 20 million, Lenskart aims to continue expanding its reach within India while also venturing into international markets across Asia, the Middle East, and other regions. Rajiv Batra, senior vice president at ChrysCapital Advisors, highlighted the growth potential of Lenskart, especially following its acquisition of Owndays, which presents opportunities to expand into over 10 Asian countries in addition to the vast Indian market.

Sources: moneycontrol.com


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