Serial entrepreneur and media mogul Ronnie Screwvala has invested $3.5 million (RS 24 crores) in Lenskart, thus increasing his stake in the company to 19%. This is not the first investment that he has done in Lenskart. He has been an early investor in Lenskart and has been helping them in major strategic decisions.
Screwvala’s investment arm, Unilazer ventures now holds 19% in Lenskart as compared to 20% held by founders Peyush Bansal and Amit Chaudhary. The current stake bought by Screwvala was bought from the founders. The current investment was done by valuaing Lenskart at a staggering Rs 2,000 crores.
The investment has come at a time when Screwvala has committed over Rs 300 crores to his own online learning venture UpGrad. Peyush Bansal, founder of Lenskart, has said that Mr. Srewvala has been a big supporter of Lenskart since the beginning and has been a mentor and has always helped the company in taking important strategic decisions that have made a huge positive impact. The fact that Mr. Screwvala has decided to up his skin in the game is proof of the fact that he believes in Lenskart.
The investment current round in Lenskart was secondary as the company does not need any more funding for its operations and is on its path towards an IPO. Founders of Lenskart did not comment on this story.
Lenskart had raise Rs 65 crores from IT billionaire Mr. Azim Premji in September last year, by valuating the company at $270 million (Rs 1,800 crores). They had also raised Rs 400 crores in May 2016 from the International Finance Corporation, TPG growth and other private investors.
Mr. Srrewvala is the founder of the UTV media group that produces and distributes movies and has a bouquet of TV channels. He sold his stake in UTV to Disney India to exit the media industry completely. He now invests in various startups through his company Unilazer ventures. He owns the Mumbai (U Mumba) franchise in the Pro Kabbadi League.