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Exclusive: Ratan Tata to exit from IPO-bound Lenskart

Ratan Tata has been an angel investor in startups since early 2014 and since then he has invested in about two dozen companies including Xiaomi, Paytm, Ola, Snapdeal, CarDekho and Firstcry. Tata had also invested in multichannel eyewear brand Lenskart in 2016 and now he’s all set to exit from the Delhi-based company.

Lenskart’s board has passed a special resolution to convert all the preference shareholdings held by Tata upon receiving his request for liquidation through secondary sale, regulatory filings show. It has allotted 24,246 equity shares at a face value of Rs 2 each to Tata.

Entrackr’s sources also confirmed that one of the existing backers would acquire Tata’s stake in the IPO-bound firm. “This secondary will be executed at a valuation of over $2 billion,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. The transaction is likely to be completed by next month, the person added.

While the size of Tata’s investment and the kind of returns he would make through the secondary transaction is unknown, As per a Mint report from 2016, Tata had invested around Rs 10 lakhs in the company in a round that valued Lenskart at $240 million. If the secondary deal goes through Tata will have a 28X exit from the company after investing in its Series C2 round five years ago.

Entrackr’s immediate queries to Lenskart’s chief executive officer Peyush Bansal and Tata didn’t elicit any response. We will update the story in case they respond.

Tata’s other notable bets in the startup space include weather forecaster ClimaCell, new and used car platform CarDekho, fitness firm CureFit, Silicon Valley-based bitcoin startup Abra and smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi.

Unlike many consumer-facing companies that are still far from being profitable, ten-year-old Lenskart had achieved profitability in FY20. It’s operating revenue has shot up 90% to Rs 900.3 crore with a profit of Rs 6.32 crore for the fiscal ended in March 2020. 

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