Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Kedaara, others explore part exit from Lenskart

MUMBAI : Lenskart’s early backers, including Premji Invest, Kedaara Capital, TR Capital, and SoftBank, are seeking to sell a portion of their stake to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, five people with direct knowledge of the development said.

The secondary transaction values the eyewear retailer at around $3.5-3.7 billion, a discount to the company’s primary valuation of $4.5 billion, the people said, requesting anonymity.

“Of the around $400 million investment round by ADIA, almost $350 million is going to come through a secondary share sale in which investors such as Kedaara, Premji, TR and SoftBank will look to partly cash out," said the first of the five people cited above. There will also be $75-100 million of primary funding as part of the round.

To date, Lenskart has raised more than a billion dollars in equity investment from investors across 19 rounds, data from Tracxn shows. It counts Alpha Wave Global (formerly Falcon Edge), KKR, Temasek, Bay Capital and Chiratae, among others, as its investors.

“Primarily, some of the company’s series A investors are looking to book exits," said another person.

In August, it raised $12.5 million from Ravi Modi Family Trust. Before that, it raised a $100 million round from Alpha Wave. It also raised funds from Epiq Capital ($25 million) and Avendus Capital ($28 million) last year.

In July 2021, it raised $315 million at a $2.5-billion valuation from Temasek, Falcon Edge, Bay Capital, KKR and Chiratae Ventures, among others.

“The business is profitable and does not require much capital; hence, it is primarily a secondary round. Since the firm’s initial public offering plans have been pushed back due to market conditions, some early investors are being given an exit," a third person said.

“The firm might look at inorganic growth opportunities in tech and retail," he added.

Spokespeople for ADIA, Kedaara and SoftBank declined to comment. Emailed queries sent to the spokespeople for Lenskart, Premji Invest and TR did not elicit a response.

Founded in 2011 by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhary and Sumeet Kapahi, the company recently acquired Japanese eyewear chain Owndays in a $400 million cash and stock deal. With the merger, Lenskart has access to 13 markets in Asia, including India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

In August, Lenskart rolled out its at-home service with an aim to disrupt the eyewear market. It is available in 23 cities across India. The service offers end-to-end solutions, including eye check-ups, frame trials, product selection and last-mile delivery.

The capital has so far helped Lenskart retain a more than 25% market share. The company, which competes with Tata group’s Titan Eyeplus, has around 1,100 stores compared with Titan’s 760.

With the Tata group throwing its might behind its flagship Tata Neu to drive its online strategy, all the brands, including Titan Eyeplus, are slated to grow manifold.

Ranjani Raghavan
Ranjani Raghavan writes about the Indian investment ecosystem with a focus on venture capital, private equity and startups. Outside of work, she enjoys sketching and birding. You can find her @ranjanir_
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