Indian eyewear start-up Lenskart plans to go public in the next three years, CEO says

Indian start-up Lenskart plans to go public within the next three years, CEO and founder Peyush Bansal told CNBC on Friday.

The company, which sells eyewear online and via retail outlets, this week announced it received $220 million in funds, led by Singapore state investor Temasek and Falcon Edge Capital. Earlier this year, Lenskart raised $95 million from global investment firm KKR. It also counts SoftBank as one of its investors.

“I think we would do an IPO in the next 24 to 36 months latest,” Bansal told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

“We still want to achieve a little bit more scale and grow our business in India as well as Southeast Asia. Then, we’ll be ready to do IPO,” he said, adding that the plan is to grow revenue to more than $500 million.

Lenskart expanded into Singapore in 2019. Bansal said Friday that he is confident the start-up can become the top player in the city-state over the next 12 to 18 months.

A man walks towards a Lenskart showroom in Gurugram, Haryana, India, on 16 March 2019.
Nasir Kachroo | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The company, which is reportedly valued at $2.5 billion, plans to use the newly raised funds to expand its presence in India and grow its operations in Southeast Asia and the Middle East in the next three to four years.

Some of the capital would also be deployed as investments into artificial intelligence and other technologies.

“There’s a huge demand for high-quality, affordable eyewear,” Bansal said about the Indian market. He claimed consumers buy on average four pairs of eyewear from Lenskart every two years, compared to a pair of eyewear every two-and-a-half years from other companies.

The biggest hurdle for Lenskart is creating a supply chain, according to Bansal. He explained that the company is in the process of building a manufacturing plant in India from which, it plans to ship about 150,000 prescription glasses a day.

“A lot of this capital actually goes in long-term investment in technology and building the supply chain infrastructure,” he said.

Indian start-ups are entering what some investors have described as the “beginning of a new era,” where the prominent names are going public. Food delivery firm Zomato made its stock market debut on Friday, and its shares jumped over 70% at the open.

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