Online-to-offline eyewear retailer Lenskart in the coming months will be launching its Thrasio-style entity to be named Lenskart Labs at a valuation of $1 billion. The company will be a separate independent entity focusing on acquiring eyewear brands across European countries, two sources in the know told BusinessLine .

The funding round will be led by New York-based Falcon Edge Capital, wherein it is likely to invest around $200 million. Other investors are also participating in the round. Starting its journey at a unicorn valuation, this is expected to be one of the largest deals in the D2C space.

Acquisition plan

In the initial stages, the start-up will be acquiring eyewear brands from various countries, mainly European countries and then start operating in India. Lenskart Labs will be looking at acquiring both smaller and slightly larger companies, they said.

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“Eventually, the plan is to take the company global and explore other geographies,” one of the sources said.

Queries sent to Lenskart didn’t elicit a response.

Thrasio craze

Lenskart Founder Peeyush Bansal will be joining a bunch of experienced start-up founders who are set to ride the Thrasio wave in India. US-based start-up Thrasio had a breakthrough when it turned a unicorn in less than two years. The start-up’s business model involves acquiring online brands across categories such as personal care, hygiene, appliance and apparel and operating them under one umbrella.

On similar lines, in early 2021, former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan started Mensa Brands and First Cry founder Supam Maheshwari along with former Edelweiss Financial Services President and Group CIO Nitin Agarwal started GlobalBees. Both the start-ups are now in advanced talks to raise fresh funds at unicorn valuations.

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Going by the usual Thrasio models, Lenskart Labs’ approach will be quite different, as the start-up plans to focus on its core category of eyewear across the brands will be acquiring.

In a similar trend, the newly crowned unicorn The Good Glamm Group has been creating an umbrella of personal care and beauty brands along with a few digital content brands it has been acquiring. The start-up shies away from being called a Thrasio modelled start-up and likes to be seen as a content-to-commerce company focusing on one category or theme of brands.