Ratan Tata to exit Lenskart in secondary sale

Ratan Tata to exit Lenskart in secondary sale
Ratan Tata  |  Photo Credit: Reuters
2 Mar, 2021

Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata is set to exit his investment in omnichannel eyewear retail startup Lenskart Solutions.

The company’s board of directors, last month, passed a resolution in agreement to convert preference shares held by Ratan Tata into common equity shares for the purpose of a secondary sale.

The conversion, on a 1:1 basis, is subject to a total of 24,246 shares, as per a regulatory filing.

The allotted number of 24,246 shares were purchased at Rs 2 per share, as per Lenskart’s regulatory disclosures.

Both Lenskart and Tata did not respond to TechCircle’s requests for comment.

Late November, the Lenskart board constituted the Lenskart ESOP Trust to monitor the company’s equity based remuneration plan for employees. This, while it has been in the news for its IPO plans since 2017.

Lenskart Solutions, formerly known as Valyoo Technologies, runs the back-end wholesale supply business of Lenskart.com. It was founded in 2008 by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhary, Neha Bansal and Sumeet Kapahi.

The e-tailer’s wholesale entity is engaged in the assembly, wholesale distribution and supply of affordable eyewear products, including the merchandise for Lenskart.com.

After nearly a decade of operations, Lenskart Solutions turned profitable in the financial year ended March, 2020. Profit for the period stood at Rs 6.32 crore, against a loss of Rs 31.57 crore, a year ago.

Apart from Lenskart, Tata’s startup bets include the likes of electric Ola Electric that is a subsidiary of cab-hailing startup Ola, industrial goods marketplace Moglix, and omnichannel furniture retailer Urban Ladder, which Reliance Industries’ retail arm bought for a little over Rs 182 crore last year.

Tata’s investments are carried out through venture capital fund RNT Associates.