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Lenskart closes $220 million from Temasek, Falcon Edge
Lenskart founder Peyush Bansal
Lenskart has closed a $220 million funding round led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Falcon Edge Capital, the company’s founder and chief executive Peyush Bansal told us.
With this, the company has raised a total of $315 million in this round. In mid-May, private equity major KKR & Co. invested $95 million in Lenskart through a secondary transaction.
The funding was equal parts primary infusion and secondary share sale. Lenskart’s existing investors, TPG and IFC, sold parts of their holdings in this round. In a secondary share sale, new investors buy shares from existing investors so the money does not go to the company.
Global ambitions: Lenskart, now valued at $2.5 billion, will use most of the fresh funds to expand into Southeast Asia and the Middle East, Bansal said.
Temasek and Falcon Edge Capital are crucial to the company’s ambitions in these markets, he added. “Temasek is a strong fund with very good knowledge of the Southeast Asia market and Falcon has good knowledge of the Middle East market,” he said.
Bansal said Lenskart is among the top three eyewear retailers in Singapore and aims to be number one in the next 12-18 months. He said the company has almost 25 stores there, making it the second largest retail eyewear chain in the country.
- Lenskart is looking to expand beyond Singapore into markets such as Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, he added.
- In the Middle East, the company has hired a team and set up its online platform, and will start setting up offline stores as well.
IPO plans: Lenskart plans to go public in India the next two to three years, Bansal said, and may consider raising another round of funding before doing so.
BigBasket plans major push for under-an-hour deliveries
Explain? BigBasket had acquired a small express delivery startup called Delyver in 2015 but was unable to scale its under-and-hour deliveries. Over the next 2-3 months, the company will give it another go.
Menon said, “We have learned from the past [how] to build this vertical… and will now launch it under the Tata umbrella.”
Speaking on our weekly audio chat show The Rundown by ETtech on Twitter Spaces, Menon said, “We have gone deep into three-four hour deliveries. In fact in most cases it’s 2-3 hours. Now, [under-an-hour delivery] is what we are going to do next.”
“The focus is on setting up dark stores, bringing inventory and warehouse closer to the customer, and making sure the cold chain works efficiently,” he added.
Why? To keep pace with companies such as SoftBank-backed Swiggy, which is investing heavily in this space.
Tata Digital and BigBasket have also held talks to buy out a company in this category, sources indicated.
The two co-founders said these new initiatives would play out over the next few months as Tata Digital prepares to launch its ‘super app’ later this year.
Also Read: Tata Digital’s plan to launch a super app
Medicines, too: Last month, we reported that online pharmacy 1mg, in which Tata Digital recently picked up a majority stake, was working to launch under-an-hour deliveries of medicines starting with the National Capital Region.
On the competition: Tata’s bet on BigBasket comes amid heightened interest not only from specialised e-commerce players such as Amazon and Flipkart but also conglomerates such as Reliance Industries.
Parekh said, “This has always been a competitive place….
Read More:Lenskart gets fuel for overseas boost