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SoftBank-backed Lenskart acquires Japan’s Owndays

Lenskart, the SoftBank-backed omni-channel eye-wear retailer, has picked up a majority stake in Owndays, Japan’s direct-to-consumer eyewear brand, the company said. The company added that the strategic partnership through this merger will lead to building Asia's largest multi-channel eyewear retailer.

The acquisition will expand Lenskart's presence to 13 markets in Asia, including Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

As part of the deal, the majority of Owndays shareholders - L Catterton Asia and Mitsui & Co., main investments: their stake in Lenskart. The company has not yet disclosed the size of the deal.

Owndays' founders, CEO Shuji Tanaka and COO Take Umiyam, will continue as shareholders and lead the Owndays management team after the transaction. The company indicated that it will continue to operate as a separate brand.

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"With Owndays, we are one step closer to the democratization of eyewear. I have known Shoji-san [Tanaka] and Tak-san [Umyam] for over five years. I have been a fan of the provocative brand and the experience of the customer,” said Peyush Bansal, co-founder and CEO of Lenskart, which they built.

As reported by B2B Lenskart is currently closing a $250 million funding round led by Alpha Wave Global at a valuation of $4.5-5 billion. As part of the funding exercise, it has already raised $28 million from Avendus Future Leaders Fund II and nearly $100 million from Alpha Wave Global, regulatory filings show.

More recently, it said its Singapore subsidiary Neso Brands, which invests in eyewear brands, raised more than $100 million in its first round of funding.

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