D2C eyewear brand Lenskart has launched Lenskart Vision Fund wherein the company plans to invest up to $2 Mn in each of the selected startups that are synergistic to the eyewear, eye care and omnichannel retail sectors. In addition to the infusion of capital, select startups will benefit from Lenskart’s market access via 700+ retail stores and online channels across India, Singapore, Middle East, and the US.
The investment by Lenskart in these startups is also inclusive of mentorship by Lenskart’s senior leadership team.
Since the initiative is designed to help startups scale, Lenskart will select early-growth stage ventures with clear in-market evidence of traction and customer adoption.
Focused sectors for investing include D2C eyewear and eye care brands, technologies enabling access to vision care, eye testing technologies, omnichannel retail solutions across logistics, supply chain, merchandising, marketing, in-store automation and deep tech solutions for eyewear, retail and ecommerce.
Founded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, Lenskart is an omnichannel retailer and manufacturer of eyewear accessories. The company manufactures, assembles, distributes and supplies its products across 700 stores across India. It is operated under the parent company Valyoo Technologies and has other subsidiaries in India including Lenskart Eyetech.
The Delhi-based eyewear retailer has grown to serve more than 400K customers on a monthly basis and claims to account for nearly 30% of India’s organised eyewear market. Majority of Lenskart Solutions’ revenue comes from its operations, which includes sales of eyewear products like spectacles, sunglasses and lenses. In FY20, about 92% or INR 893.7 Cr of the overall income for the startup came from the core operations.
Lenskart entered the unicorn club in 2020, after raising INR 1,645 Cr ($231 Mn) from SoftBank Vision Fund II and Lightbulb Ltd as part of its Series G funding round. The company has raised $459.6 Mn to date from investors like Chiratae Ventures, TPG, PremjiInvest, Unilazer Ventures and others.
Currently, India is witnessing rapid growth in the D2C sector. With D2C companies such as Wakefit which successfully doubled their revenue during the pandemic, more than 800 new-age brands from India bid farewell to middlemen in the past few years and took the direct-to-consumer (D2C) route. According to Inc42 Plus Data, the sector is expected to grow exponentially and reach a market size of $100 Bn by 2025 at a CAGR of 25%.
Furthermore, the D2C market is picking up heavy interest from investors. For instance, since 2014, D2C brands have raised $2.01 Bn. Some of the most funded D2C startups include Lenskart, Pepperfry, boAt and Furlenco.