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Specsmakers gets more capital from Eight Roads
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Eye-care products retail chain Specsmakers Opticians Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday said it has raised additional capital from existing investor Eight Roads Ventures primarily to ramp up its online presence.

The Chennai-based company raised Rs 23 crore ($3 million) last month, said Specsmakers in a statement.

This takes the total amount it raised from Eight Roads since last year in the form of bridge funding to $7 million.

Last year VCCircle reported that Specsmakers had raised Rs 28 crore ($4 million) from Eight Roads.

Besides boosting its online presence, the bridge funding is also being used to launch new products and verticals.

Pratik Shah, CEO and founder, Specsmakers, said that the company launched its online store in March this year in response to the Covid-19 crisis as people were forced to stay at home. 

The company has seen online orders increase by 300% post the lockdown, it said.

Ashish Venkataramani, principal, Eight Roads, said that daily retail sales at Specsmakers are back to pre-Covid levels due to the company's unique strategy of accessible, neighbourhood stores, coupled with proactive scheduling of eye tests to maintain social distancing.

Founded in 2011 by Shah, Specsmakers currently has more than 260 stores across over 30 cities in southern India. It had raised around $1.1 million from pharmaceuticals and healthcare-focused private equity firm Fulcrum Ventures in December 2014. In December 2017, it raised a new funding round of $10 million led by Eight Roads.

A number of optical products retail chains, both online and offline, in India have attracted investor interest.

The most-funded eyewear retailer is Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Last year, homegrown private equity firm Kedaara Capital came in as a new investor in Lenskart, VCCircle reported. Its other investors include Steadview Capital, Epiq Capital and TR Capital.

Eye Gear Optics India Pvt. Ltd, which runs a chain of optical retail stores under the brand name Ben Franklin, had raised fresh funding from existing investor Asian Healthcare Fund early last year.

Other branded eyewear companies with nationwide presence are Titan Eye and Vision Express. GKB, Himalaya and Lawrence & Mayo are the other players with 60 to 80 stores each in select locations across the country.

Interestingly, eye-care hospital chains are also looking at optical products retailing to drive growth.

Adil Agarwal, CEO at Temasek-backed Dr Agarwal's Health Care Ltd, told VCCircle earlier last year that the company saw huge growth opportunity for its optical products vertical.

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