KKR, the global investment firm, is all set to invest $95 million in eyewear retail platform Lenskart, through a secondary stake acquisition.
Other investors who took part in the financial round include Temasek and New York-based Falcon Edge Capital. Lenskart’s valuation is now estimated to be around $2.5 billion.
While KKR will be joining the list of Lenskart equity holders , current investors, notably TR Capital and TPG Growth, will be going ahead with a divestment of a portion of the stakes. Out of these, the latter will apparently be making a return in some four and a half years, and that too, with a six-fold increase in shares, if experts are to be believed.
Through the partnership, Lenskart hopes to grow, and expand its user base in India, while also creating a deeper impact in overseas markets. Digital offerings to customers will also be improved, to enhance their virtual shopping experience. To make this possible, KKR will be channeling the experience it has gained through collaborations with leading global eyewear companies and platforms, who make use of cutting edge technology.
Lenskart will use these funds to improve its technological prowess, from browsing and shopping, to manufacturing and supply-chain.
As for the digital offerings, Lenskart currently offers a 3D try-on tool, along with frame recommendations based on AI-powered face mapping. Smart physical stores, football tracking beacons, demographic analytics, and heat maps are also included.
In 2019, the company had raised more than $275 million, during a round of financing mainly led by Softbank Vision Fund. Back then, it’s valuation had stood at $1.4 billion It has also partnered with other well-known investors, from Ratan Tata to IDG Ventures.
CEO Peyush Bansal said in a statement, “In the next five years, we aspire to have 50 per cent of India wearing our specs… 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.”
Meanwhile, Gaurav Trehan, Partner at KKR, also gave his views and inputs on the deal, saying, “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.”
Just last month, the eyewear retailer had invested in acquiring DailyJoy, a delivery startup headquartered at Hyderabad. The aim had been to give a boost to its engineering capabilities, while also improving technology.