Online eyewear retailer Lenskart has invested US $0.5 million in California-based startup ThinOptics, which makes which makes innovative reading glasses that can stick to one’s nose or be attached to phone or keychain.
This investment is reportedly part of Ratan Tata-backed Lenskart’s plan to invest nearly $2-3 million in startups that are innovating in product and technology to make eyecare solutions affordable.
According to CEO Peyush Bansal, Lenskart is working closely with ThinOptics’ California team for growing the India market. Bansal added that response to ThinOptics in India was positive.
This is Lenskart’s third reported investment in less than a year. Earlier, it had also invested $1 million in Ditto, which is a US-based 3D virtual try-on and frame recommendation tech startup. Ditto claims that its frame recommendation technology employs facial analysis, including shape of the face, features, measurements, skin tone, hair and eye color among others, before making a recommendation.
Lenskart had also previously invested in 6over6, an Israel based start-up which works on enabling eye exams through the Android phone.
In May last year, Lenskart had raised Rs 400 crore in a series D round of funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an investment arm of the World Bank. The company had said that the funds will be used for strengthening its technology, supply chain, and lens manufacturing. As of now, Lenskart manufactures lenses and assembles frames at its unit in Okhla, Delhi, but is expected to move to a new manufacturing unit in Manesar, Haryana for which they will be investing Rs 60 crore.
In 2016, the startup also secured an undisclosed amount from Premji Invest, the investment office of Wipro chief Azim Premji. CEO Bansal had then said that the funding would help the company in its road map go public in the next 4-5 years.
In January 2015, the company had 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.