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KKR invests $95 mn in eyewear retailer LensKart

India-based omnichannel retailer LensKart has raised $95 million from KKR under definitive agreement via 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,” the statement said.

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.

Speaking on the fundraise, Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart, said, “At Lenskart, we are obsessed with our customers, technology, and making the 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.” 

Fundraiser Campaign

“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, Neuro-science lenses, and Lenskart BLU,” Peyush said.

“I feel we are still scratching the surface and have a lot of work to do over the 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.” He added.

Commenting on the investment in LensKart, Gaurav Trehan, Partner at KKR, said, “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.”

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.

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