For $400 million, Lenskart purchases the majority of a Japanese eyewear company
Unicorn eyewear omnichannel On Thursday, Lenskart disclosed that it had acquired a majority stake in the Japanese eyewear company Owndays for an estimated $400 million.
The combined company will be required to enter 13 Asian markets, like India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan.
The CEO Shuji Tanaka and COO Take Umiyama, who co-founded Owndays, will continue to hold shares in the business and oversee the staff as it maintains its identity as a distinct brand.
The current top owners, L Catterton, Mitsui, and Principal Investments will sell their interests to Lenskart.
According to Peyush Bansal, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Lenskart, “I envision Lenskart and Owndays sharing the same set of values centred around enhancing customers’ lives, caring for people in our communities, and constant development, and we have extremely similar skill sets.”
With its 300-person tech team—which is expected to increase to 500 in FY23—Lenskart will help Owndays improve the online and Omni experiences.
Owndays claims to continue its speedy expansion in South East Asia and India to serve the mass-to-mid-premium segments, even as it scales quickly to serve premium categories.
Since opening our first international store in Singapore in 2013, Owndays has gained popularity as the go-to eyewear brand throughout many Asian nations, according to Tanaka.
More than 10 million pairs of eyeglasses have been shipped internationally by Lenskart since its launch in 2010. More than 20 million persons have downloaded the app, 300 people specialise in home eye exams, and there are more than 1,100 stores spread across India, Singapore, and Dubai.
Some of the investors in Lenskart include Falcon Edge Capital, SoftBank, KKR, Temasek, Premji Invest, and Kedaara Capital. Owndays has over 460 outlets in 13 markets.
A third of Indians today require eyeglasses. Even though only roughly a quarter of those who have been diagnosed with vision problems actually wear glasses, the term “need” applies to them. The numbers are astounding when we add up the number of people who wear glasses as a fashion accessory. These customers are interested in having a variety of spectacles to match their outfits. Over 1.5 million spectacles (15 lacs) are sold daily in India. The market is highly fragmented, with mom-and-pop stores predominating. Since the launch of Lenskart in 2010, the eyeglasses business has changed significantly.
An online market for prescription power glasses, BLU glasses, frames, and goggles, Lenskart is an optical prescription eyewear retail network established in Faridabad. Additionally, Lenskart concentrates on physical storefronts. As of December 2021, it has already been successful in opening more than 80 actual physical retail outlets throughout India. Every month, its Delhi factory manufactures more than 300,000 glasses. Additionally, Lenskart has a facility in Zhengzhou, China, producing around 20% of its frame inventory. The company, which was hailed as the biggest eyewear brand in India and joined the exclusive group of Indian unicorns back in December 2019, is known as a unicorn prescription eyewear company.
Lenskart – Founders
Peyush Bansal, Sumeet Kapahi and Amit Chaudhary are the founders of the company.
The last time Lenskart posted more than 5000 workers were in August 2021. According to the Lenskart CEO’s statements, there would be an expansion in the company’s workforce.
Startup Story of Lenskart
Only a small percentage of the population, about one-third, has access to glasses. India is known as the world’s capital of blindness, where there are presently close to 15 million blind persons. Peyush Bansal decided to start “VALYOO technologies” for this only reason.
In light of the most recent admissions made during Peyush Bansal’s Shark Tank presentation, we now know that when he first joined Lenskart in 2010, he found that while around half of the population needs glasses, only one-fourth of them really has access to them. For this reason, Bansal aimed to revolutionise vision correction by providing glasses to 50% of the population. The co-founder of Lenskart wanted to turn his business into the “Maruti of eyewear.”
By cutting off the retailers, the team behind Valyoo hoped to add more “valyoo” to the lives of its users. They decided to do this to establish high-quality manufacturing facilities and facilitate the direct delivery of goods to customers all around the nation. The company further recognised in-house robotic lens manufacture and assembly as the ideal option to assure 100 per cent precision and excellent quality control. When the business began, Lenskart catered to 30 clients daily; this number soon rose to 3000.
Mission and Vision
In its mission statement, Lenskart, the world’s fastest-growing eyewear brand and website with the most traffic, states, “Our purpose is to offer India a vision.” Lenskart provides prescription eyeglasses, name-brand contacts, and sunglasses that are all tailored to each customer’s vision needs.
Product and Services
Over 5000 distinct styles of frames and glasses are available at Lenskart, along with more than 45 different types of high-quality lenses. Its product selection includes –
- Premium Eyeglasses
- Brands – Bausch and Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, Alcon
- Colour Contact Lenses, and many more.
With a B2C strategy and an inventory-driven business model, Lenskart sources equally from China and India. Its in-house stylists and designers stay on top of the most latest trends in eyewear. These designs are then provided to the producers. The corporation can control expenses by managing the entire supply chain.
Lenskart has expanded into offline storefronts to reach a wider audience using the franchisee model. By the end of the year, it hopes to have 50 locations across 30 cities. Lenskart increased its focus to include urban and non-metro locations to strike a healthy balance.
Currently serving 4,000 customers daily, Lenskart hopes to service 200,000 customers in the upcoming years. It has a team of about 1000 people working on this project, which spans industries like manufacturing, eye technicians, customer service, IT, and logistics. This team will increase as the business expands.
Lenskart operates under the business model of accepting orders for power eyewear only after receiving the necessary power from its customers. However, the firm is now preparing to allow consumers to test their own power, which will be feasible in the following days. A closer look at the Lenskart Business model is provided here.
Funding and Investors
Lenskart raised $100 million in its most recent round of investment, which was headed by Alpha Wave Incubation, formerly known as Falcon Edge. On April 27, 2022, it added an additional $25 million to the same (Series I) round, which Epiq Capital sponsored. In the second instalment of the Series I round, the unicorn eyeglasses retail chain and eCommerce company raised Rs 190.05 cr from Epiq by issuing 910,412 Series I preference shares at an issue price of Rs 2085.52 per share, valued at $4.32 billion.
On June 9, 2022, the Peyush Bansal-led firm received close to $28.2 million from Avendus Future Leaders Fund II, which was not a sizable fundraising round as Lenskart had announced. 1,053,882 Series I CCPS have been allocated by Lenskart for the $28.2 million in funding. However, this financing can be a part of a larger round that comes in instalments.
Temasek and Alpha Wave Global led a $220 million fundraising round for Lenskart that closed on July 19, 2021. The Secondary Market round, in which the company raised $95 million, and the Series G round funding round, sponsored by SoftBank Vision Fund for $275 million on December 20, 2019, are two other key rounds the company experienced before them.
As of June 10, 2022, Lenskart had raised about $927.2 mn in investment.
Lenskart’s competitors include:
- GKB Opticals
- Vision Express
- Titan Eyeplus
Lenskart – Challenges Faced
Convincing customers to abandon traditional stores in favour of Lenskart’s online store was the most challenging challenge the company had to overcome. The company needs to dispel people’s misconceptions about eyewear and gain their trust by demonstrating that they provide high-quality products at lower costs than its brick-and-mortar rivals.
The performance of Lenskart’s retail stores, desktop platforms, and mobile apps was great. However, the mobile website saw the lowest visitor-to-customer conversion rate compared to their other websites. Because of this, the customers exploited that touchpoint to encourage customers to download their mobile apps as a workaround until they had the funds to overhaul the website completely.
Lenskart – Future Plans
The “Vision to India” initiative of Lenskart India seeks to connect with the public by creating a low-cost franchise model. They will be able to implement the framework and increase their presence in Tier 2 cities by using the Lenskart Lite approach. Additionally, disposable regular contact lenses were introduced. With the help of their Aqualens product, the company aims to provide simple and economical eyewear options. It would be quite cheap for the daily masses who desire both trends and costs at just Rs. 40 per day.
With more than 500 outlets expected to launch in the next two years, Lenskart India’s main aim is to reduce the gap between picked and unselected lenses. By the conclusion of the following five years, 2,000 stores are expected to be operational.
With over 350 stores across the globe, including Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Cambodia, OWNDAYS is a well-known Japanese eyewear brand. Over 200,000 pairs of glasses are sold by the business annually.
One of the few businesses in the world that have adopted the SPA (Specialty Store Retailer of Private Label Apparel) system in the optical industry, where every step of the process—from design and manufacturing to inventory control and retail—is handled internally. With the use of this system, the business has been able to maintain the highest level of product quality while keeping costs down and meeting Japanese Industrial Standards. Shuji Tanaka serves as the company’s CEO.
OWNDAYS keeps pushing itself to provide practical and fashionable eyewear as its worldwide footprint expands. The company hopes to become the go-to source for eyewear by always developing new products and services.
The educated service staff at OWNDAYS helps customers choose frames based on a universal matching system, ensures the item’s quality, and discusses the lifetime of the materials used. The company’s staff of optometrists uses cutting-edge Japanese technology to ensure the testing is as accurate as possible. OWNDAYS has a year warranty for both the lenses and the frames. Even in cases of unintentional breakage, the company gives 50% off replacement eyewear.
OWNDAYS has partnered with GKB Opticals of Kolkata for its operations in India. As a result, after starting in Kolkata as its first retail location, OWNDAYS has since extended to five additional metropolises: Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Chandigarh, and Bangalore. The business wants to make its goods available on e-commerce websites as well. In all of its retail locations across the world, OWNDAYS provides free cleaning, fitting, and maintenance services for all of its eyewear items.
Interesting facts about OWNDAYS
Ownday’s standard lenses are high index aspheric lenses, which renowned international lens manufacturers produce.
When you spend so much money on a pair of glasses, you may rest easy knowing that Japanese brands are known for their superior quality.
No additional fee
Regardless of how high the degree is, these aspheric lenses are free. You can never go wrong with these high index aspheric lenses, even if you have a large budget and really high degrees.
Choose the thickness for your lenses
This is the place to go if you only wear thin glasses. Standard Owndays lenses come in three different thicknesses ranging from 1.60, 1.67, and 1.74.
The distortion is reduced, and the glasses are lighter and slimmer with thinner lenses. Your dream has come true, so there.
Their lenses all have a dust-resistant coating that blocks out 99 per cent of UV radiation, protecting the eyes from damage. You should have the knowledge by now that these UV rays could harm our eyes.
Owndays offers an extensive range of lenses, like progressive lenses, colour lenses, PC lenses and transition lenses, for an additional $100.
Your glasses arrive in just 20 minutes.
Making two trips to the optical store is the thing that is the most bothersome.
Once to buy the glasses, then once more to gather them. But not at Owndays. Owndays guarantees that after receiving payment, their skilled and knowledgeable personnel will send your spectacles to you within 20 minutes.
The distortion is reduced, and the glasses are lighter and slimmer with thinner lenses. Your dream has come true, so there.
Edited by Prakriti Arora