The deal is reportedly worth $400 Mn, bringing OWNDAYS into Lenskart’s fold
Lenskart said that OWNDAYS will operate independently of it, with the cofounders remaining stakeholders and leading the management team
The Faridabad-based unicorn will become Asia’s largest omnichannel eyewear brand, reaching 13 markets
Omnichannel eyewear brand Lenskart has acquired a majority stake in Japanese eyewear brand OWNDAYS in a deal reportedly worth around $400 Mn. Lenskart and OWNDAYS did not reveal the exact financial details of the deal.
The Japanese eyewear brand’s current shareholders, including L Catterton Asia and Mitsui & Co. Principal Investment, will get an exit.
The Faridabad-based unicorn will become Asia’s largest omnichannel eyewear brand, reaching 13 markets including India and Japan, along with countries in the SEA.
While Lenskart has acquired a majority stake in OWNDAYS, the deal has been designed as a merger. The former will continue to target the budget segment, while the latter will target the premium segment.
In a press statement, Lenskart said that OWNDAYS’ cofounders will continue to be shareholders. Along with that, cofounder and CEO Tanaka Shuji and COO Umiyama Take will continue to lead the management team.
Lenskart Group CEO and cofounder Peyush Bansal said, “With OWNDAYS, we move a step closer to democratizing eyewear. I have known Shuji-san and Take-san for over five years and have been an admirer of the disruptive brand and customer experience they have built with OWNDAYS. To bring about a revolutionary change such as the one the world needs in eyewear, we need to work with like-minded and complementary founders.”
OWNDAYS cofounder and CEO Shuji Tanaka said, “I believe digital transformation is the key to our next phase of growth in the post-pandemic operating environment and I am excited to partner with Lenskart, which have deep expertise and intellectual capital in the information technology field.”
The Indian unicorn also added that OWNDAYS will operate independently.
Lenskart’s acquisition of OWNDAYS comes as the startup launched a Thrasio-style subsidiary, Neso Brands, focused on eyewear. Lenskart’s new venture joined the likes of Mensa Brands and GlobalBees in a growing list of Thrasio-like ventures in the country.
Neso Brands had recently raised $100 Mn from marquee investors such as KKR, SoftBank, Alpha Wave Global and Temasek. The acquisition of OWNDAYS could have been to add to Neso Brands’ portfolio of eyewear brands.
Recently, Inc42 had exclusively reported that Lenskart raised close to $28.2 Mn from Avendus Future Leaders Fund II. The startup allotted 1,053,882 Series I CCPS for consideration of $28.2 Mn funding. This funding round valued Lenskart at over $4 Bn.
Founded in 1989 in Tokyo, OWNDAYS first opened a store outside of Japan in 2013. It has 15 eyewear brands under its house of brands and has 460 stores across a dozen countries in Asia.
Founded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhury, and Sumeet Kapahi, Lenskart claims to serve more than 7 Mn customers on a yearly basis via its app, website and retail outlets across the country. The unicorn has around 750 stores in around 175 cities.
The startup is looking to expand its engineering team. Currently 300-strong, the Faridabad-based unicorn is looking to expand the engineering team to 500 people in FY23. It is also working on supply chain integration and automation, which it will leverage to improve its unit economics.