Kedaara takes interest in Lenskarts' stake

As per reports, Kedaara Capital have plans to buy shares in omni-channel eyewear retailer Lenskart through a secondary deal, valuing the company at $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said.

It is also said that Investors like PremjiInvest and Chiratae Ventures are among those likely to partially liquidate their holdings.

The first investment shall be done by Kedaara, a home grown private equity company, in the consumer internet sector. It usually occurs when some big private equity companies sensed opportunities in the space.

For Lenskart, this will mark a significant jump from its previous valuation of $460-470 million, and it will be latest to join the Unicorn club of privately held firms valued at $1billion or more. Lenskart is also in discussions with SoftBank Vision Fund, as ET reported on May 27, for a primary infusion, a financing round of around $300-350 million.

“The secondary deal, which is expected to be in the range of at least $100 million, has more than doubled Lenskart’s valuation compared to its previous round,” said a person aware of the details.

News portal VCCircle reported on August 29 that Kedaara would invest in Lenskart via a secondary transaction. A secondary sale takes place when an existing investor sells shares to a new one and the money does not come into the company’s books.

An investor in retail chain Vishal Mega Mart, Mahindra Logistics and AU Small Finance Bank, Kedaara manages more than $1.3 billion in assets. It has till date evaded the backing new-age internet companies.

Lenskart expansion over small and large regions has attracted interest from traditional private equity firms. Earlier, Carlyle Group discussed an investment in the company, which ET reported in May, but the talks was put to an end the PE firm proposed a valuation of about $700 million, much lower than the company’s expectations.

Founded by former Temasek India head Manish Kejriwal and former General Atlantic senior executives Sunish Sharma and Nishant Sharma, Kedaara is currently investing from its second fund — the $750-million Kedaara Capital Fund-II.