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Lenskart Solutions gets funding from Ratan Tata

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, the online retailer of eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and eyewear accessories, has got funding from during latest fund-raising initiative. The firm is expecting to raise about Rs 400 crore.

Lenskart Solutions gets funding from Ratan Tata
The latest round of fundraising will value Lenskart Solutions at about Rs 1,600 crore

The latest round of fundraising will value Lenskart Solutions, formerly known as , at about Rs 1,600 crore. IFC () is the lead investor in this round. Discussions are still going on with them. Existing investors and are also expected to participate in this round.

With these funds the company will grow its distribution network across tier II and tier III cities through the offline franchisee partner network. Lenskart, which was incorporated in 2008, has till date raised about Rs 200 crore in funding from investors.

Lenskart has recently increased its focus towards building an offline presence through a network of franchisee partners.

The Success Story
Lenskart is an Indian eyewear online portal founded by Peyush Bansal along with Amit Chaudhary and Sumeet Kapahi in November 2010. The product range contains prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. Lenskart has self owned and franchisee stores in various cities and towns of India.

Fund Raising
Lenskart raised around Rs 200 crore in three rounds of funding by IDG Ventures India, UTV founder (Ronnie Screwvala) led Unilazer Ventures, TPG (TPG Capital) Growth and Hong Kong-based TR Capital. The portal’s value was evaluated to be around Rs 600 crore, over $100 million, in January 2015. In October 2011, Valyoo Technologies received funding worth Rs 22 crore, $4 million, by IDG Ventures India. IDGVI is a $150 million leading technology venture capital fund in India.

In February 2013, the company announced that it has received Rs 53 crore, $10 million, by UTV founder Ronnie Screwvala led Unilazer Ventures along with existing investor IDG Ventures India. Unilazer Ventures took a double digit stake in Valyoo Technologies in lieu of the investment.

Business Model
Lenskart follows an inventory-based business model. Respective teams select and stock goods in the Lenskart warehouse and put them on the portal. The vendor manages logistics and delivery for all the brands, ranging from Ray-Ban to Tommy Hilfiger and FCUK, sold under the flagship Lenskart.

Offline Presence

Lenskart introduced its first franchisee store in Chandigarh on January 28, 2014. The multi-brand eyewear seller had expanded its offline presence to 49 stores in 29 cities as of January 2015. Lenskart now has nine stores in Delhi-NCR, seven in Bengaluru and four in Goa. However, two Goa outlets (Margao and Vasco), one Pune outlet and one Chandigargh store closed down in one year.