Update 2: Following the investment, Lenskart has made three new appointments:
– Mayank Batheja has joined Lenskart as ‘AVP – Home Eye Check-up services’. Batheja had earlier co-founded Letsintern.com. At Lenskart, Batheja will be responsible for the company’s Home Eye Check-up Service.
– Anand Thakur has been appointed as ‘AVP – Technology’. Thakur had earlier co-founded an online supermarket EasyRation. At Lenskart, Anand will be heading the company’s tech vertical and will be responsible for building technology to support all business initiatives.
– Aakratee Vajpai has joined Lenskart as ‘Head of Human Capital’. Vajpai was previously heading the Human Resource Division for Bharti Airtel’s Delhi Circle.
Update (Jan 6): Lenskart has confirmed that it has raised Rs 135 crore investment led by TPG Growth, with participation from Hong Kong based TR Capital and existing investor IDG Ventures for a significant minority stake. It’s not clear where the company intends to use this investment, although Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal is quoted as saying that they will be hiring the “best talent to solve India’s eyewear problems at a very large scale”.
Earlier (Jan 6): Noida-based Valyoo Technologies Pvt Ltd that runs the online eyewear store Lenskart, has raised Rs 135 crore in a series C round of funding led by TPG Capital and participation from new investor Hong Kong based TR Capital and existing investor IDG Ventures, reports Techcircle citing sources.
It says TPG Capital invested Rs 120 crore in this round, while TR Capital invested Rs 12 crore and existing investor IDG Ventures put in Rs 3 crore. The investment was closed in November and was valued at $100 million post investment. The Economic Times also suggests a similar valuation citing sources and says it had received board approval for the investment last month. Valyoo founder Peyush Bansal however didn’t respond to the publication. We tried contacting Valyoo on this but we are yet to hear back from them. We’ll update in case we hear back.
Three of four verticals shut
Interestingly, Valyoo also seems to have shut three of its four vertical-specific sites including WatchKart, BagsKart and JewelsKart, as pointed out by Iamwire. At the time of writing this article, WatchKart is not loading while the other two are redirecting to LensKart. Possibly, the company wasn’t able to find a buyer for these sites, after stating plans of selling all its verticals to focus on Lenskart last year.
As we had said then, WatchKart, BagsKart and JewelsKart faces severe competition from e-commerce marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon India, Myntra and Snapdeal which offers similar products, thereby making it tougher for these sites to gain significant market share in the country. On the other hand, Lenskart faces less competition and also seems to have gained a significant share in the online eyewear segment. Therefore, it would make sense for Valyoo to shift all its resources to Lenskart.
Valyoo Technologies, which was founded by Peyush Bansal back in 2010, began its e-commerce journey with Flyrr.com, a site targeting the US market with shades and a classifieds site called SearchMyCampus, both of which now appear to be defunct. It was also planning to launch new sites focused on categories like health & beauty products, fashion & lifestyle among others by the end of 2012, but the company dropped this plan in September 2012 to concentrate on the existing four sites.