The wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) has invested $500 million in eyewear startup Lenskart at a valuation of $4.5 billion, in one of the largest fund rounds in the recent past. The Faridabad-based company has not revealed the percentage of stake acquired, though it’s estimated to be 10%.

The investment will be made via a purchase of both primary and secondary shares. Subject to receipt of statutory and regulatory approvals, the deal will result in ADIA becoming one of the largest shareholders in Lenskart.

“Upon completion of the transaction, Lenskart will have attracted close to $750 million capital over the last 12 months including recent fund-raising activities, making it one of the largest such growth-stage financings globally,” a statement by Lenskart says.

Lenskart is rapidly pushing its plans to expand in India, while also scaling its international presence, primarily in Asia and the Middle East. Lenskart has over 2,000 stores, of which 1,500 are in India, with the balance in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Other major backers of Lenskart include SoftBank and Alpha Wave Incubation. The company had raised ₹760 crore from Alpha Wave in 2022, while it received about $95 million worth of funding from KKR in 2021.

Its new factory, from where the startup plans to manufacture and ship 20 million pairs of eyewear next year, will be launched soon. Lenskart’s revenue grew 60% for the second year in a row.

Peyush Bansal, founder & CEO, Lenskart said, “It is still Day 1 at Lenskart. Vision Correction remains a big problem, and Myopia rates continue to grow rapidly, touching levels of as high as 80–90% in some parts of Asia.”

He said the startup is still early in its journey. “And ADIA, with its patient and long-term approach to investing, is a perfect partner for us as we embark on the next phase of our journey.”

He said the next phase at Lenskart is a journey of 10 to 100, where the company is focusing on building a diverse culture that enables innovation and execution at scale, while solving a large bottleneck hindering high-quality vision for all.

Lenskart reported a 66% jump in operating income at ₹1,503 crore in FY22, as per its filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). However, its net loss stood at ₹102 crore on a rise in costs. In 2021, the company reported ₹29 crore net profit.

Hamad Shahwan Al Dhaheri, executive director, Private Equities Department, ADIA said, “This investment is a continuation of our strategy of investing in highly differentiated, market-leading businesses in Asia linked to the region’s consumption-driven growth and rapid technological advancement.”

Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Lenskart and its shareholders on the transaction. EY acted as ADIA’s advisors on accounting and tax matters, while AZB & Partners and Allen & Overy acted as legal advisors to ADIA. KPMG and PwC acted as advisors on accounting and tax matters, while Rajaram Legal & Khaitan & Co. acted as legal advisors to the Company and its shareholders.

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