technology

ClearDekho raises $4 million funding led by Aroa Ventures


Eyewear brand ClearDekho on Wednesday said it has raised $4 million in pre-Series A funding led by Aroa Ventures which happens to be the family office of Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal.

The company said it will use the funds to expand its stores across geographies (40%), marketing and on-ground activities to drive new customer acquisitions (30%) and back-end operations infrastructure to automate fittings and quality check, hiring and training infrastructure and enhance inventory and private label brands (20%).

“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. The next decade 2020 to 2030 would be defining for us,” Shivi Singh, cofounder and CEO of ClearDekho, said in a statement.

He said that the $14 billion eyewear industry in India is growing at 30% CAGR year-on-year powered by 250 million people waiting to get affordable eyeglasses. ClearDekho has over 60 operational stores across the country and over 300,000 glasses distributed.

“The unorganised optical market has a lot of scope of becoming standardised and hassle-free for the mass consumers. We have strong conviction in the team and their expansion plans. ClearDekho will be present in 100+ cities within the next 12 months and will continue to penetrate Tier 2/3/4 cities across India,” said Gaurav Gulati, head and chief investment officer of Aroa Ventures.

The company has a strong presence in the offline market through its FOCO Retail Stores (Franchise Owned Company Operated), Converted Local Optical Retail Stores, and CD’s @ home/work/school. It also operates a marketplace platform to provide optical products through multiple sellers. It claims it has grown 1300% in three years.

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“Apart from opening new franchise outlets, ClearDekho plans to add another 1000 retail stores in the next 3 years by collaborating with existing optical retailers across India,” Saurabh Dayal, cofounder and COO of ClearDekho, said.

The funding round also saw participation from investors like 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 (World’s Leading Startup Accelerator VC), Gemba Capital and others.



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