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Lenskart’s Thrasio Styled Venture Neso Brands Raises $100 Mn From KKR, SoftBank

Lenskart’s Thrasio Styled Venture Neso Brands Raises $100 Mn From KKR, SoftBank

KKR, Softbank, Alpha Wave Global and Temasek led the funding round in the Lenskart's new venture

Neso Brands will only look to acquire eyewear brands and scale them up for its Thrasio-style venture

Neso Brands joins the likes of Mensa Brands and GlobalBees in India’s growing list of ecommerce roll-up brands

Neso Brands, an eyewear-focussed, Thrasio-style startup backed by omnichannel eyewear unicorn Lenskart, has raised $100 Mn in India’s largest seed funding round ever.

KKR, Softbank, Alpha Wave Global and Temasek led the funding round. 

Founded in 2022, Neso Brands is the latest addition to India’s growing list of brand roll-up startups after the success of two unicorns in the field, Mensa Brands and GlobalBees. Neso Brands will only look to acquire eyewear brands and scale them up for its Thrasio-style venture.

Neso Brands has also appointed Bjorn Bergstrom as its founding CEO. Bergstrom has experience in operating D2C brands, having most recently served as the chief growth officer and interim chief product & technology officer for global fashion brand NA-KD.

The Singapore-based startup’s funding round took place almost a month after Lenskart raised $100 Mn in a fresh round of investment from Alpha Wave Ventures, valuing the IPO-bound eyewear unicorn at $4.3 Bn.

“By investing in the most promising new brands in the [eyewear] industry and leveraging centralized resources across technology, manufacturing and distribution, Neso Brands will be uniquely positioned to scale the eyewear brands of the future,” Bergstrom said.  

Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal said, “It is our firm belief that the eyewear brands of today will not be brands of the future. And Neso is our initiative to partner with founders globally to help create eyewear brands of the future.” 

Founded in 2010 by Bansal, Amit Chaudhury, and Sumeet Kapahi, Lenskart claims to reach 1,00,000 customers per month.

The company boasts of serving more than 7 Mn customers annually through its omnichannel shopping experience, which spans online, its mobile app, and over 750 omnichannel stores in 175 cities across the country.

India’s ecommerce rollup brands have seen great success over the past few months. Mensa Brands acquired as many as 14 D2C brands in 2021 within eight months of its launch. It further acquired three more brands in 2022. It is eyeing a portfolio of more than 50 ventures across a host of sectors by 2024.

On the other hand, GlobalBees has 11 brands under its portfolio across various verticals.

With more and more people buying online, the Indian ecommerce market is predicted to increase 21.5% from 2021 to reach $74.8 Bn in 2022.