Lenskart invests $1 mn in 3D face modelling startup Ditto
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Eyewear e-tailer Lenskart has invested $1 million (around Rs 6.5 crore) in US-based Ditto which develops 3D face models for Lenskart’s virtual trial service.

The online platform, which is operated by Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd, has been using Ditto's 3D try-on services on its website and app, it said in a statement.

With the integration of Ditto, Lenskart will be able to enhance its online engagement with consumers.

“Ditto provides us with the patented 3D virtual try-on technology that allows customers to see themselves in eyewear in 180 degree angles. The response to this service has been impressive with over 10,000 trials a day. Ditto has now become a strategic partner for Lenskart and this will help us achieve a wider and more satisfied customer base,” said Peyush Bansal, founder and CEO of Lenskart.

Ditto, which is operated by Ditto Technologies Inc, was founded by Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus Kate Endress, former Google executive Sergey Surkov and former Nokia executive Dmitry Kornilov. In 2012, it raised $3 million from a group of investors led by August Capital.

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.

In January this year, media entrepreneur-turned-investor Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures invested Rs 24 crore ($3.5 million) in Lenskart through a secondary transaction.

In September last year, Lenskart raised follow-on funding from PremjiInvest, the private investment arm of Wipro chairman Azim Premji.

In May 2016, the firm raised Rs 400 crore ($60 million) in a Series D round from International Finance Corp, TPG Growth and other investors. The round also saw participation from Adveq Management, IDG Ventures, Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.

In FY2015-16, Lenskart’s net loss widened to Rs 113 crore as it spent more on advertising and promotions to generate sales. The company’s advertising expenditure grew 52% to Rs 58 crore, and its revenue jumped 63% to Rs 99 crore. It had posted a net loss of Rs 63.5 crore on a total income of Rs 60.9 crore in FY2014-15, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle, based on the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies.

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