Mumbai: Neso Brands, a brand roll-up subsidiary of omnichannel eyewear retailer Lenskart, has raised more than $100 million in a seed funding round led by KKR, Softbank, Alpha Wave Global and Temasek. This makes Lenskart the latest entrant to the brands roll-up space in India.

Neso Brands plans to partner with and invest in consumer eyewear brands around the world and grow them. It will leverage synergies across the Lenskart Group to accelerate international expansion, the company said in a release.

Based out of Singapore, Neso Brands said it will help the most promising direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands across the world to become brands of the future. It will house these brands and enable a quicker global roll-out by giving them access to shared resources, particularly technology, supply chain, distribution, capital and best practices.

Bjorn Bergstrom, a specialist in consumer scale-ups, venture capital and management consulting specialist, joined the company as its CEO, it said. He most recently served as chief growth officer and interim chief product and technology officer at global fashion brand NA-KD.

“Today there is a perfect storm in the eyewear industry that makes it ripe for disruption. Consumers have increasingly high demands when it comes to customer experience, branding, and choice, but incumbent players have been unable to keep up. By investing in the most promising new brands in the industry and leveraging centralised resources across technology, manufacturing and distribution, Neso Brands will be uniquely positioned to scale the eyewear brands of the future,” said Bergstrom.

IPO-bound Lenskart, is one of the earliest unicorns in the D2C space. It recently raised $100 million from Alpha Wave Capital and was last valued at $4.3 billion.

“It is our firm belief that the eyewear brands of today will not be brands of the future. And Neso is our initiative to partner with founders globally to help create eyewear brands of the future,” said Peyush Bansal, CEO of Lenskart.

Founded in 2010, Lenskart serves over 10 million customers and has a presence in 235 Indian cities and Singapore, with a network of more than 1,000 stores. It also also entered the Middle East and US markets.

The brand roll up space in India has been heating up of late, with companies such as Firstcry-backed Globalbees, Mensa, Goat Brands, Rebel Foods among others aggregating D2C brands across beauty, fashion, home décor, food and other categories. The sector has already attracted $700-800 million in funding from risk investors, according to an ET analysis.


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