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Lenskart backs US-based reading glasses maker ThinOptics
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Eyewear retailer Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd has invested $500,000 (Rs 3.35 crore) in California, US-based reading glasses manufacturer ThinOptics Inc., the company said.

ThinOptics, which was co-founded by Darren Lancaster in 2010, makes very slim reading glasses with no temples and, frames, that can be tweaked or moulded to get the best fit. The company has patented its designs for reading glasses.

“With this investment, we intend to work closely with ThinOptics’ California team for growing the Indian market as well as bringing more innovations in this area,” Lenskart chief executive officer Peyush Bansal said in a press statement.

The ThinOptics deal marks the Indian eyewear retailer’s fourth investment in the past one year. In February, it had made a $4-million strategic investment in eyewear brand John Jacobs. Last December, it had invested an undisclosed amount in Israeli start-up 6over6, which is working on an Android-based eye examination platform.

In September 2017, it had invested $1 million in US-based Ditto, which develops 3D face models for Lenskart’s virtual trial service.

Lenskart, which was founded in 2008, is promoted by Bansal, Amit Chaudhary, Neha Bansal and Sumeet Kapahi. In addition to the online platform, it has a wholesale division, which is engaged in assembly, distribution and supply of eyewear products. The company has offline presence through 410 stores.

In January 2017, media entrepreneur-turned-investor Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures had invested $3.5 million in Lenskart through a secondary transaction.

In September 2016, Lenskart had raised a follow-on round from PremjiInvest, the private investment arm of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, while in May 2016, it had raised $60-million in a Series D round led by International Finance Corp and TPG Growth. The round had also seen the participation of Adveq Management, IDG Ventures, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.

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