MyOptique Group, European Online Retailer, Secures £16 Million to Complete Series C Funding Round of £35 Million


LONDON— MyOptique Group, a leading Europe-based online optical retailer, announced that it has secured £16 million (€20 million) additional investment, bringing the total raised in its current Series C funding round to £35 million (€43 million).

The latest investment came from two new investors: Korys and Beringea, manager of the ProVen VCTs, with additional funding from existing investor Cipio Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. ProVen VCTs are funds raised under the government’s Venture Capital Trust plan for supporting UK SMEs with equity investment.

Together with the initial Series C investment round from previous investors Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Index Ventures, as reported by VMail in December 2013, the £35 million (€43million) round is one of the five biggest UK technology venture capital investments of 2014, the company’s announcement stated. GB Bullhound and Wilmer Hale advised on the deal.

MyOptique Group is a full service optical business, providing branded and own brand prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses via a portfolio of international websites including Glasses Direct, Sunglasses Shop, LensOn and MyOptique.

The funds will be used to further finance marketing investment and expansion into Europe as well as acquisitions. There will also be investment in technology “aimed at positioning the company at the forefront of innovation to achieve its mission of revolutionising the eyewear industry so that more glasses are bought direct than through traditional brick-and mortar-stores,” the company said.

Recently marking 10 years in business and noting that the group recently served its one millionth customer, the MyOptique Group stated that its gross retail sales for the year ended April 2014 were reported at £34 million (€42 million) with prescription glasses turnover leading growth in the business and sales projected to grow by over 50 percent in the next 12 months. The business also continued its growth into Europe, with non-UK sales now accounting for nearly two-thirds of its turnover, “placing it as the clear pan-European leader in its sector.” The company also noted that it has shown EBITDA profitability for the second consecutive year.

Kevin Cornils, MyOptique CEO, commented, “The offline European optical market is valued at over €25 billion today. However, while over half of consumers now buy books online, and nearly 20 percent of apparel is now bought online, only two percent of people currently buy their glasses online—meaning that the potential is massive as consumers follow the trends in other categories. This additional capital will allow the MyOptique Group to dramatically accelerate our growth and enter new markets to strengthen our dominant position in Europe.”

Korys CEO Vincent Vliebergh added, “We are delighted to support the continuous growth of MyOptique, which has already reached a leading position in its core markets through its innovative business model. We are truly excited to join forces with a top level management team and reputed group of investors.”

“MyOptique has led the way in disrupting the eyewear market, a sector in dire need of fundamental change,” noted Trevor Hope, chief investment officer for Beringea.

MyOptique Group is a Future Fifty company, a government initiative for leading high growth tech companies. MyOptique’s existing investor partners have backed a number of Europe’s online companies including: Acton Capital (My Theresa, Zooplus, Etsy), Cipio Partners (eCircle, Bravofly, buyVIP), Highland Capital Partners (Vistaprint, Matches Fashion, PhotoBox, Moonpig), and Index Ventures (ASOS, net-a-porter, Skype, Farfetch, Just Eat).