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Report: Indian eyewear retailer Lenskart in US$350M funding talks with SoftBank


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Report: Indian eyewear retailer Lenskart in US$350M funding talks with SoftBank

SoftBank Vision Fund LP is likely to invest US$350 million in New Delhi-based eyewear retailer Lenskart Solutions Pvt. Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The fresh capital reportedly under discussion could value Lenskart at US$1.3 billion, the people said. The negotiations with SoftBank follow failed discussions with private equity firm Carlyle Group LP over a lower-than-expected valuation of about US$700 million for Lenskart, the sources told the publication.

If it materializes, the deal would be SoftBank's second investment in an e-commerce business that also has ample offline presence. Indian baby products company BrainBees Solutions Pvt. Ltd., also known as FirstCry, was the other e-commerce retailer recently backed by SoftBank that also operates brick-and-mortar stores.

Lenskart's existing investors include TR Advisors Ltd., or TR Capital; Unilazer Ventures; TPG Growth; International Finance Corp.; Schroder Adveq Management US Inc.; and Chiratae Ventures India Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

A SoftBank spokesperson did not comment while Lenskart co-founder and CEO Peyush Bansal did not respond to a request for comment, according to the Times.