Delhi-based Lenskart has invested $1 Mn in US-based startup Ditto for a minority stake. Ditto provides 3D face modelling for virtual trial service to eyewear retailers to improve their customer experience.
Lenskart has been one of Ditto’s customers since 2016 and is using its technology on both – website and app. Further integration will help the company enhance its online engagement with consumers, wherein they can share different pictures of themselves trying various eyeglasses, with their friends and relatives on social media.
The 3D Try On service records the user’s face from multiple angles letting it map the face – and then when the users try on a frame, they can swipe on the image to turn the head to the left and right as well, to get a view of the glasses from different angles. This online 3D face modelling trial provides preferences and historical data to make frame selection faster, more effective and fun for the buyers.
Commenting on the announcement, Peyush Bansal, Founder and CEO, Lenskart.com said “Lenskart as a company has always believed in constantly innovating and leveraging the technology interface to give customers a best in class experience. Ditto provides us with the patented 3D virtual try-on technology that allows customers to see themselves in eyewear in 180° angles with realism. So far, the response to this service is commendable with over 10,000 trials every day. We have been evaluating our relationship and now want to take it to the next level. With this association, Ditto has now become a strategic partner for Lenskart and we certainly believe this will help us achieve a wider and more satisfied customer base.”
Founded in 2010, Lenskart is an online retailer offering premium quality and stylish eyewear, offering over 10,000 different styles to suit all pocket sizes and diverse consumer needs. The company claims to have a growth rate of 200% year on year. The company’s network strength stands at 900 and has more than 350 stores across more than 95 cities in India.
As far as funding is concerned, Lenskart raised over $30.14 Mn (INR 200 Cr) from Wipro chairman Azim Premji’s family office, PremjiInvest. The funding was at a valuation of $270 Mn (INR 1800 Cr). Prior to that, in May 2016, it had raised $60 Mn Series D funding from World Bank arm IFC, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, Zurich-headquartered asset management firm Adveq Management, along with the existing investor TPG Growth and IDG Ventures. Lenskart also counts Ratan Tata as one of its investors.
Recently, Lenskart hit media headlines when after receiving fire on social media for sending unsolicited SMSes to users offering discounts and promotions.
The investment in 3D face modelling startup Ditto is aimed at strengthening Lenskart’s presence in the online eyewear segment. With backing from industry stalwarts and the addition of various new technologies for raising customer experience, let’s see how well Lenskart is able to play in the market.