SoftBank-backed Omnichannel eyewear retailer Lenskart has acquired a majority stake in Japanese direct-to-consumer eyewear brand eyewear Owndays. The deal will create one of Asia’s most extensive online eyewear retailers, extending the reach of Lenskart to 13 markets like India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan.
After the deal, estimated to be worth around $400 million, Owndays’ Co-founders, CEO Shuji Tanaka and COO Take Umiyama will continue to be shareholders. The duo will lead the management team at Owndays, which will continue functioning as an independent company.
Peyush Bansal, Co-Founder and Group CEO at Lenskart, said, “In today’s age, the customer wants great products, great prices, and delightful experiences all the time. With Owndays, we move a step closer to democratizing eyewear. I have known Shuji-san and Take-san for over five years and have been an admirer of the disruptive brand and customer experience they have built. There is much we can achieve together which will be greater than the sum of its parts.”
As part of the deal, the current significant shareholders of the Japanese d2C brand, L Catterton Asia and Mitusi & Co., Principal Investment, will exit the company. Earlier in May, Neso Brands, a roll-up subsidiary of eyewear retailer Lenskart, raised $100 million from KKR, Softbank, Alpha Wave Global and Temasek. Lenskart has been one of the early unicorns in the Direct-to-consumer space and is currently valued at $4.3 billion.
The acquisition will bolster Lenskart’s presence in the premium eyewear segment
Lenskart is rapidly expanding its network in India and Southeast Asia. The company ships over 10 million pairs of eyewear annually and has seen 20 million app download. As a startup, which has raised total funding of about $968 million from investors such as TPG, Temasek and KKR, it has grown by 65 percent year-on-year in 2021.
The company is already looking at a 50 percent growth in 2022 with over 300 home eye test representatives and over 1,100 stores across India, Singapore, and Dubai. With the new acquisition, the eyewear startup aims to scale up its engineering team from 300 to an estimated 500 people to bolster its presence in the premium eyewear segment.
Owndays Founder and CEO Shuji Tanaka said, “I believe digital transformation is the key to our next phase of growth in the post-pandemic operating environment, and I am excited to partner with Lenskart, which has deep expertise and intellectual capital in the information technology field. We envision that the combination of Owndays and Lenskart will bring about an abundance of innovation that will further revolutionize the eyewear industry to the benefit of people worldwide.”