In yet another successful secondary investment in India, TR Capital has announced that it now holds more than 10% stake in Indian eyewear startup Lenskart.
As Inc42 had earlier reported TR Capital and PremjiInvest will purchase the shares from TPG Growth and IDG Ventures India respectively in Lenskart. The secondary sale of shares was set to rake up Lenskart’s valuation up to $460 Mn (INR 3,000 Cr). Per se reports, the company was undertaking a secondary share sale worth $61.3 Mn (INR 400 Cr).
In a statement, TR Capital shared that it acquired shares from TPG Growth and Unilazer Alternative Ventures LLP through its TR Capital III.
Commenting on the successful secondary investments in India, Paul Robine, Founding Partner and CEO of TR Capital said, “Private equity in India is maturing and the development of the secondary market is a natural consequence of the large volume of private equity investments during the past fifteen years. TR Capital is well positioned to provide liquidity solutions in these high-quality companies and we look forward to further enhancing our investment portfolio.”
TR Capital has been an active shareholder of Lenskart since 2013 and “continues to believe in its significant growth potential led by its strong management team.”
Lenskart: Revolutionising Eyewear In India
Lenskart Solutions, formerly known as Valyoo Technologies, was launched in 2010. It started as an online platform but soon adopted an omnichannel strategy. It now deals in manufacturing, assembly, distribution and supply of products such as eyeglasses, power sunglasses and contact lenses.
Since January 2017, when Lenskart reported a massive 78% rise in its losses for FY16-17, the company has been aggressively formulating strategies to increase its sales and create value for the brand.
Lenskart is also planning to expand its offline presence from 300 stores to 600 stores by March 2018. It became EBITDA profitable in December 2017.
Recently, it also announced to invest $4 Mn more to set up more offline stores for one of its major brand John Jacobs, expecting the revenue from John Jacobs to reach $78.1 Mn (INR 500 Cr) by FY 2020-21, from the current $15.6 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in FY17-18.
TR Capital Bets In India
Founded in 2007, TR Capital invests in Asia-focussed private equity secondary transactions. It has executed 32 transactions via three funds: TR Capital I (2008), TR Capital II (2012) and TR Capital III (2016) and currently manages capital commitments of $400 Mn.
TR Capital has been investing in India since 2008 and has invested in a number of Indian companies such as Flipkart, Lenskart, Urban Ladder, Sedemac, SSIPL and Vivimed Labs (Uquifa).
Another recent successful secondary investment of TR Capital is in Arohan Financial Services, a NBFC-MFI (Non-Banking Finance Company – Micro Finance Institution) providing micro-financing solutions and insurance to low-income states. The 10.5% stake was acquired from Aavishkaar Group mainly and also from Tano India Fund II.
Based in Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, Arohan operates in nine low-income states, with plans for further expansion in 2018. It manages 435 branches with over 3,000 employees, and has one million active customers.
Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart has indicated his plans to float an IPO by 2020, in order to provide an exit to the existing shareholders. While a few investors are already reaping in profits by selling a part of their stakes in Lenskart to other investors, the IPO will further offer an opportunity to take a better exit from the company.