Temasek, Fidelity buy $200M stake in Lenskart at $5B valuation

Temasek and Fidelity have purchased shares worth $200 million in Indian eyewear retailer Lenskart, according to a statement by the startup's financial adviser, Avendus.

The transaction values Lenskart at $5 billion, the startup's co-founder and chief executive, Peyush Bansal, told TechCrunch in a text message. Avendus, which also advised selling shareholders on the deal, didn't name the investors who sold the shares.

Temasek has previously invested in Lenskart, and this new funding follows a $500 million investment by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority last year.

Thirteen-year-old Lenskart, which also counts SoftBank and Alpha Wave Global among its backers, sells eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and other accessories. It has become one of the largest eyewear players in India by offering premium glasses at affordable prices, undercutting the competition, and is also expanding overseas.

Lenskart has been able to keep prices low by bringing greater efficiency to the sector, Bansal told TechCrunch in an earlier interview. The startup manufactures its own glasses and contact lenses and has the exclusive licensing rights for many global eyewear technologies in India.

With operations spanning India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Lenskart sells its products online and through more than 2,500 stores, most of which are in India.

India's vision correction market remains significantly underserved, and only a small percentage of the population currently use glasses or contact lenses, despite hundreds of millions requiring them, Bansal claimed.

"This investment by renowned global investors underscores the uniqueness of Lenskart’s disruptive model and highlights the excitement surrounding one of the most anticipated IPOs in India in the coming years," said Neeraj Shrimali, MD of digital and investment banking at Avendus Capital, in a statement.

"We are excited about what lies ahead for Lenskart & Peyush. In our view, more late-stage tech companies will continue to garner strong investor interest demonstrating the robustness and excitement of the Indian consumer tech landscape."