Great news for MyOptique Group – it was recentlyÂ announced thatÂ Glasses Direct, MyOptique, Sunglasses Shop and LensOn have together served more than a million happy customers. One thing’s for certain – that’s a lot of glasses!
MyOptique’s continued disruption of the eyewear industry is grabbing the attention of the national press too. TheÂ Daily TelegraphÂ spoke to our chief executive Kevin Cornils about the huge potential in the online optical market and the promising future of the company in light of the recent successful round of investment. Expect to see a lot more from MyOptique GroupÂ in future!
Read today’s press release (complete with infographic) below:
MyOptique Group, Europeâ€™s leading online optical retailer, today announced it has securedÂ Â£16 million (â‚¬20m) additional investment, bringing the total raised in its current Series CÂ funding round to Â£35 million (â‚¬43m). At the same time it has posted its year end results,Â showing EBITDA profitability for the second year running.Â The company celebrates its tenth birthday this year and estimates that its value propositionÂ has saved the glasses wearing public over Â£40 million to date.
The latest investment came from two new investors; Korys and Beringea, manager of theÂ ProVen VCTs, with additional funding from existing investor Cipio Partners and SiliconÂ Valley Bank. Together with the initial Series C investment round from previous investorsÂ Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Index Ventures, the Â£35m (â‚¬43m)Â round is one of the five biggest UK technology venture capital investments of 2014. ItÂ will be used to further finance marketing investment and expansion into Europe as well asÂ acquisitions. There will also be investment in technology aimed at positioning the companyÂ at the forefront of innovation to achieve its mission of revolutionising the eyewear industry soÂ that more glasses are bought direct than through traditional bricks and mortar stores.
Gross retail sales for the year ended April 2014 were reported at Â£34 million (â‚¬42m)Â with prescription glasses turnover leading growth in the business and projected toÂ grow by over 50 per cent in the next 12 months. The business also continued its growthÂ into Europe, with non-UK sales now accounting for nearly two-thirds of its turnover andÂ placing it as the clear pan-European leader in its sector. From its first significant injectionÂ of venture capital in 2009, the company has achieved an average annual revenueÂ growth rate of 53% over the last five years and recently served its millionth customer.
MyOptique Group is a full service optical business, providing branded and own brandÂ prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses via a portfolio of international websitesÂ including Glasses Direct, Sunglasses Shop, LensOn and MyOptique. The past 12 monthsÂ has seen the launch of sunglasses and prescription eyewear on LensOn in the NordicÂ market and the launch of LensOn contact lenses into the UK market.
The rapid growth inÂ prescription glasses sales has largely been fuelled by brands developed in-house, nowÂ accounting for the top two selling brands on Glasses Direct; London Retro and Scout, withÂ a further three labels planned for the autumn. London Retro itself has seen annual salesÂ growth of over 100% since its launch in 2011.
Kevin Cornils, MyOptique CEO, commented: â€œThe offline European optical market is valuedÂ at over â‚¬25 billion today. However, while over half of consumers now buy books online, andÂ nearly 20 per cent of apparel is now bought online, only 2 per cent of people currently buyÂ their glasses online â€“ meaning that the potential is massive as consumers follow the trendsÂ in other categories. This additional capital will allow the MyOptique Group to dramaticallyÂ accelerate our growth and enter new markets to strengthen our dominant position inÂ Europe.â€
Korys CEO Vincent Vliebergh commented: â€œWe are delighted to support the continuousÂ growth of MyOptique, which has already reached a leading position in its core marketsÂ through its innovative business model. We are truly excited to join forces with a top levelÂ management team and reputed group of investors.â€Â â€œMyOptique has led the way in disrupting the eyewear market, a sector in dire need ofÂ fundamental change,â€ added Trevor Hope, Chief Investment Officer for Beringea. â€œWe areÂ excited to be partnering with an exceptional team who have developed a fantastic value forÂ money, convenient consumer offering whilst delivering a highly professional service.â€
MyOptique Group is a Future Fifty company, a Government initiative for leading highÂ growth tech companies. MyOptiqueâ€™s existing investor partners have backed a numberÂ of Europeâ€™s biggest winners: Acton Capital (My Theresa, Zooplus, Etsy), Cipio PartnersÂ (eCircle, Bravofly, buyVIP), Highland Capital Partners (Vistaprint, Matches Fashion,Â PhotoBox, Moonpig), and Index Ventures (ASOS, net-a-porter, Skype, Farfetch, Just Eat).Â GB Bullhound and Wilmer Hale advised on the deal.