Eyewear retailer Lenskart puts in $1 Mn in Israel-based startup 6over6

Lenskart

Eyewear retailer Lenskart has picked up a minority stake in Israel’s Tel Aviv-based startup 6over6 for $1 million.

The firm, which marks its second bet on an overseas early-stage technology venture, may look to infuse further capital in the latter down the line.

“We had started working with 6over6 in February earlier this year, and this strategic partnership will allow us to co-develop the product and ensure that our interests are aligned. We anticipate that this technology will change vision care globally,” Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart, reported ET.

Incorporated by Dr. Ofer Limon(CEO) and Dr. Alex Zlotnik(CTO) in 2014, 6over6 allows consumers to determine the power of their lenses fitted in their eyeglasses through a smartphone application. It could replace the process of measuring refraction using a set of lenses, with a mobile app that directly measures the MDBA (Maximum Distance of Best Acuity).

Also Read: India-Israel Innovation Challenge: Win rewards for innovative solutions

Earlier known as Valyoo Technologies, Lenskart sells eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and eyewear accessories. While Lenskart has a facility in Delhi to assemble spectacles, the company gets its frames manufactured in China, Korea and Italy. Sale of eyeglasses contributed close to 70% of the total revenue.

It plans to set up manufacturing and assembly to a new facility in Manesar, on the outskirts of Haryana this month.

Founded in November 2010, Lenskart raised over Rs 600 crore in funding in 2016 from investors including Ratan Tata, IFC (venture capital arm of the World Bank) and Kris Gopalakrishnan (Infosys co-founder), among others.

It currently has about 365 stops across 95 cities in India and is targeting 460 stores by March 2018. It plans to invest over Rs 100 crore on business expansion.

In September this year, Lenskart had also invested $1 million in another startup Ditto, a US-based startup which develops 3D face model.

Earlier, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) announced that it’s planning to set up a technology incubator in Israel. The proposed incubator will be in partnership with Israel-based crowdfunding platform – OurCrowd, Motorola Solutions, and Yissum, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University. RIL will invest the proposed $25 million in technology startups in tranches over the course of the partnership.

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