[Funding alert] Eyewear retailer ClearDekho raises $4M in pre-Series A round led by Aroa Ventures
on Thursday raised $4 million in pre-Series A round led by Aroa Ventures (Family Office of O Founder Ritesh Agarwal).
The funding round also saw participation from investors, including CK Jaipuria Family Office (Pepsi Bottlers AP), NB Ventures Dubai, Anuj Sheth (AAJ Ventures, Dubai), Kitty Agarwal (Infoedge), Anand Chandrasekaran, Nandi Vardhan Mehta (MD, Kaaf Investments, Dubai), Magnus KJoller Holdings (Danish VC), Mandar Joshi (M Strategy Global, Dubai), Venture Catalysts, SOSV MOX, Gemba Capital, and others.
According to a statement, the funding will strengthen the startup's backend operations and empower it to establish 200 stores across Tier II/III/IV towns of India.
The eyewear brand has planned to utilise the funds into three major sectors — expansion of stores across geographies (40 percent), marketing and on-ground activities to drive new customer acquisition (30 percent), backend operations infrastructure to automate fittings and quality check, hiring, and training infrastructure and enhance inventory and private label brands (20 percent).
Founded in 2017 by two young entrepreneurs, Shivi Singh and Saurabh Dayal, ClearDekho addresses a major need gap by improving accessibility of high-quality affordable eyeglasses to the low-income mass-market consumers across Tier II/III/IV towns of India.
Co-founders of Cleardekho
Commenting on the investment, Gaurav Gulati, Head and Chief Investment Officer, Aroa Ventures, said,
“The unorganised optical market has a lot of scope of becoming standardised and hassle-free for the mass consumers. ClearDekho is deeply focused on organising this highly fragmented market and consistently delivering high-quality affordable optical solutions."
"ClearDekho will be present in 100+ cities within the next 12 months and will continue to penetrate Tier II/III/IV cities across India. This investment will enable the team to focus on scaling up the operations and further strengthen the customer experience.”
Speaking on the development, Shivi Singh, Co-founder and CEO, ClearDekho, said, “The post-COVID exponential increase in screen time across age groups has led to the surge in demand for affordable eyeglasses, especially from new-age consumers from smaller towns, which are driving the revolution. We strongly believe in creating value for our customers, and as we set out to transform this massive unorganised sector, the next decade, 2020 to 2030, would be defining for us.”
“We deeply understand the importance of providing quality yet affordable eyewear products accessible to Indian consumers and take immense pride in playing the role of a torchbearer as we foresee massive demand in the value segment in the coming years. Apart from opening new franchise outlets, ClearDekho plans to add another 1000 retail stores in the next three years by collaborating with existing optical retailers across India," added Saurabh Dayal, Co-Founder, and COO, ClearDekho.