India’s prescription glasses company Lenskart and Japanese direct-to-consumer eyewear brand OWNDAYS announced a strategic partnership via a merger to build the region’s largest omnichannel eyewear business. This will take the group’s reach to 13 markets in Asia including India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan.
OWNDAYS Co-founders, CEO Shuji Tanaka, and COO Take Umiyama, will continue to be shareholders and lead the management team of OWNDAYS Inc., which will continue to operate as a separate brand. The current major shareholders of OWNDAYS – L Catterton Asia and Mitsui & Co., Principal Investments – will exit their positions to Lenskart.
Lenskart is relentlessly pursuing its goal of revolutionizing eyewear by investing in technology and supply chain automation and OWNDAYS has developed one of the best direct-to-consumer eyewear brands with a differentiated culture of customer experience. Lenskart with its 300 people engineering team, estimated to scale up to 500 people in FY23, will help build a stronger online and omni experience for OWNDAYS.
Lenskart has also been investing hundreds of million dollars in deeper supply chain integration and automation which will now be leveraged by both the brands to further enhance customer proposition and unit economics. Lenskart will continue its rapid expansion in India and South East Asia to serve the mass to mid-premium segments while OWNDAYS scales swiftly to cater to premium segments. Lenskart's leadership in India and OWNDAYS' strong geographical competitiveness in the South Asian markets have enabled the group to become the fastest growing Pan Asian eyewear company.
Peyush Bansal, Co-Founder, and Group CEO at Lenskart said, “The way people buy eyewear is changing rapidly and at Lenskart it is our mission to drive this transformation globally. In today’s age, the customer wants great products, great prices, and delightful experiences all the time. With OWNDAYS we move a step closer to democratizing eyewear. I have known Shuji-san and Take-san for over five years and have been an admirer of the disruptive brand and customer experience they have built with OWNDAYS. To bring about a revolutionary change such as the one the world needs in eyewear, we need to work with like-minded and complementary founders. I see Lenskart and OWNDAYS sharing the same set of values centered around enriching customers’ lives, caring for people in our communities, as well as continuous learning, and we also have very complementary skill sets. There is much we can achieve together which will be greater than the sum of its parts.”
Shuji Tanaka, Founder, and CEO, OWNDAYS commented, “OWNDAYS has been recognized as the eyewear brand of choice across multiple countries in Asia ever since we opened our first overseas store, in Singapore in 2013. Our growth accelerated following L Catterton Asia’s and Mitsui & Co., Principal Investments’ participation in us in 2018, as we leveraged their strong commercial network in Japan and across the region to expand our operations to cover a total of 13 markets today. I believe digital transformation is the key to our next phase of growth in the post-pandemic operating environment and I am excited to partner with Lenskart, which has deep expertise and intellectual capital in the information technology field. We envision that the combination of OWNDAYS and Lenskart will bring about an abundance of innovation that will further revolutionize the eyewear industry to the benefit of people across the world.”
The two companies have been at the forefront of the vision care industry’s transformation in Asia, as consumers globally increasingly buy prescription glasses more frequently than they do with lifestyle choices, and the combination is expected to result in the most innovative eyewear company in the world.