Confirming reports from last week, Lenskart has confirmed raising a $500Mn round from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. The investment comes at a time when financial markets are reeling under intense pressure, banks have seen collapses and startup fundraising is witnessing a slump like never before. Lenskart though, has been a different story through its successful ominchannel approach, and is now looking for a rapid internatinoal scale-up with this fresh capital.

According to an official statement, ADIA’s latest investment is an extension to last year’s round, and values Lenskart at $4.5 billion valuation, similar to its valuation in previous fundraise. ADIA’s investment includes some secondary purchase of shares from some early backers of Lenskart, the startup said.

As the largest optical brand in India, the 13-year-old Lenskart has carved a niche of its own in the eyewear retail sector in the Indian market. Today, it is known to offer a wide range of products including glasses, contact lenses, and sunglasses, mostly in the affordable eyewear segment, but also increasingly looking at going premium.

Lenskart has been able to scale in the eyewear category like no other, through a combination of ecommerce, as well as massive web of over 2000 stores across India, Middle East and SE Asia. It is known to offer quality eyewear at highly affordable prices, largely due to its own expertise in the manufacturing space and effectiveness of processes that help it produce millions of glasses every year. The startup is opening more than seven stores a week and plans to manufacture 20 million pairs of glasses next year.

The eyewear upstart had recently acquired Japanese brand OwnDays, leading to a significant push in the premium eyewear category. It also has several of its own brands, such as John Jacobs, which are directed towards helping Lenskart establish a similarly dominant presence in the premium eyewear space.

Lenskart has raised over $900 million via multiple funding rounds till date, and counts the likes of SoftBank Group Corp, KKR & Co, PremjiInvest, and Temasek Holding Pte as its investors. While it is profitable, Lenskart clocked a net loss of ₹102.3 crores in FY22 and is planning an IPO offering within the next 48 months.