IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing INR 171 crores in Indian eyewear company Lenskart, to help the company expand access to high-quality and affordable eye-care products in tier-3, tier-4 cities. IFC was the lead investor for the INR 400 crores Series D investment round which also saw participation from TPG Growth, Adveq Management and IDG Ventures. In addition, Ratan Tata and Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-founder of Infosys) invested in their personal capacity as part of this round.
Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to this transaction.
The New Delhi-based Lenskart, is engaged in the assembly, manufacturing, wholesale distribution and supply of High Quality eyewear products, such as eyeglasses, power sunglasses and contact lenses. More than 40% of the Indian population or 530+ million people require vision correction. However, only 170 million use eyeglasses or have any form of vision correction. This is a problem that exists as much in urban India as in rural India, primarily due to lack of awareness, accessibility and affordability. Lenskart is using innovative solutions to address the needs of people who need vision correction as well as providing higher quality glasses at an affordable price. Lenskart has adopted a unique omni-channel approach, thereby making eyewear truly accessible by making it available on desktop, mobile, hypermarkets, high streets, malls, hospitals and now even at home. The company conducts over 1,500 eye exams daily through its home eye exam service partners which it intends to make available for every home in urban and rural India. All glasses are made centrally with some of the best equipment in the world, to ensure best quality at revolutionary prices.
Lenskart plans to utilize the funds for strengthening its technology, supply chain, lens manufacturing, and expanding the reach of its high-quality eyewear products across 400 cities. Lenskart has a special focus on skill development as well as entrepreneurship development in India. It runs skill development programs across 4 cities for training people on operating complex machinery required for manufacturing lenses as well as conducting accurate eye exams. It also gets people certified by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). It has over 100 business partners who run and operate stores and plans to partner with another 1000 entrepreneurs in the next 3 years. Within that also, there is a lot of focus on Women Entrepreneurs where it is working with banks to get loans facilitated for women entrepreneurs under the Stand Up India scheme.
Lenskart has been relentless about its focus on customer centricity. The company has built a strong leadership team, all of who work with the single mission of ‘creating enthusiastically satisfied customers all the time’. It has roped in professional stalwarts from retail, marketing and digital industries to head the respective divisions. The company will continue hiring great talent, particularly in technology. Peyush Bansal, Founder and CEO of Lenskart said: “IFC is a long-term partner with global knowledge and a broad network of Internet, technology and healthcare clients, including in the eye care space. I am thankful to IFC for their support of our vision of ‘Lenskart glasses in every home”. He added that the company will be able to draw on IFC’s extensive global experience in the technology, healthcare and manufacturing sectors, particularly in supply chain development and capacity building to realize its potential and develop best practices.
“The Lenskart investment is a part of IFC’s Venture Capital group’s strategy to invest in innovative Internet, Healthcare and Technology companies across emerging markets,” said Pravan Malhotra, IFC’s co-lead for Global Internet Investments and lead for VC investments in South and Southeast Asia. “This investment will support a rapidly growing market leader in the Internet sector, while meeting a significant gap in the Indian eye care market,” he added. As part of this investment, he will join Lenskart’s Board of Directors. Aashish Bhinde, Executive Director, Avendus, said “This transaction reaffirms our faith in the Indian vertical e-commerce space where companies with differentiated propositions are creating value in the ecosystem. With this funding, Lenskart is strongly positioned to become India’s default eyewear brand.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, IFC uses its capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, IFC’s long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. India is IFC's top country exposure, globally. IFC's committed portfolio in India is over $5 billion as of June 30, 2015. In FY15, IFC committed $1.4 billion in new investments. In addition to strengthening local capital markets in India, IFC is focused on boosting financing in infrastructure and logistics, promoting financial inclusion, helping create conditions to attract increased private capital, and helping structure public-private partnerships.
IFC is world’s largest multilateral investor in the private health-care sector in emerging markets. In the past, IFC has made investments in the eye care sector across several markets globally including EyeQ in India, Aier in China, Magrabi in Egypt and Sala Uno in Mexico. In India, IFC’s venture capital group has supported a number of healthcare companies like Portea, EyeQ and Nephroplus. IFC is also building a portfolio of market leading internet companies that include BigBasket in India, Netshoes in Brazil, Souq in the Middle East and Hepsiburada in Turkey.
For more information, please visit www.ifc.org
About TPG Growth
TPG Growth, part of the global investment firm TPG Capital, invests in a broad range of industries including consumer, retail, technology, internet, healthcare, energy, transportation, industrials and business services. TPG Growth has about $4 billion under management, has a global presence, with offices in 8 cities and has an extended global reach through TPG offices in London, Paris, Luxembourg, Moscow, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, and Melbourne.
For more information, please visit www.tpggrowth.com
About Adveq Management
Adveq Management AG is an investment firm specializing in direct, fund of fund and secondary indirect investments. Adveq has offices in Zurich, Frankfurt, London, Jersey, New York, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Its clients include International financial institutions such as pension funds, insurance companies, family offices and asset managers located in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. As of March 31, 2016, Adveq has more than USD 6 billion assets under management.
For more information, please visit www.adveq.com
About Lenskart Solutions
Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (previously Valyoo Technologies Pvt Ltd), founded in 2010, operates Lenskart.com – India’s largest online eyewear portal. Lenskart has revolutionized the eyewear industry in India by leveraging its industry leading technology, stringent quality focus and wide assortment of contemporary choices to provide consumers with premium experience. Lenskart.com is redefining the way eyewear is purchased in India through its innovative solutions like home eye check-up programme, trybefore-you-buy, virtual studio, doctor partnerships and market leading customer service.
For more information, please visit www.lenskart.com
About Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd. (“Avendus Capital”)
The Avendus Group (Avendus) is a leading provider of financial services with an emphasis on customized solutions in the areas of financial advisory, capital markets, wealth management, credit solutions and alternative assets management. Avendus relies on its extensive experience, in-depth domain understanding and knowledge of the regulatory environment, to offer customized solutions that enable clients to meet their strategic aspirations. Avendus has consistently been ranked among the leading financial advisors by overall number of deals. In CY2015, the firm was amongst the top three financial advisors by overall number of deals in India (as per Mergermarket). It has a strong track record crossborder transactions and has helped multiple clients benefit from opportunities across geographies. Avendus’s wide range of clients is testimony to its ability to serve its corporate clients throughout their life cycle – from growth stage funding to complex, large sized transactions later in the cycle.
Avendus Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd. caters to investment advisory and portfolio management needs of
Family Offices, Large Corporates and Ultra High Net worth Individuals spanning all asset classes. Avendus
Capital Inc. and Avendus Capital (UK) Pvt. Ltd. located in New York and London respectively are
subsidiaries providing M&A and Private Equity syndication services to clients in the respective regions.
For more information, please visit www.avendus.com