About the Client
MyOptique Group is revolutionising the £20 billion European optical industry by cutting out the high street middle man – and providing its customers with a superior service and significant savings. The group is the clear European leader in the growing online optical segment with a full offering covering all three major segments in the eyewear market – prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses – via its Glasses Direct, Sunglasses Shop, LensOn and MyOptique websites.
The company includes several market-leading sites in the online optical market and was rebranded from Prescription Eyewear Ltd earlier this year to reflect that it is now a full service optical provider across all key categories. Launched originally in 2005 as Glasses Direct, which offers a high service, excellent value proposition for prescription glasses, it acquired Sunglasses Shop, Europe’s largest premium online sunglasses retailer, in 2011. A year later the group launched MyOptique.com, a highly curated premium optical boutique, and also acquired LensOn AB, the leading online contact lenses retailer in Northern Europe. The company has also developed two leading eyewear brands, London Retro and Scout, which are the fastest growing brands on Glasses Direct and which will be further developed as part of the expansion plans.
23 June 2014 – About the Deal
GP Bullhound have acted as exclusive financial advisor to MyOptique Group Ltd on an investment round led by Beringea, Korys, Cipio Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. The Group secured £16 million (€20m) additional investment, bringing the total raised in its current Series C funding round to £35 million (€43m). At the same time it has posted its year-end results, showing EBITDA profitability for the second year running.
The latest investment came from two new investors: Korys and Beringea, with additional funding from existing investors Cipio Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. Together with the initial Series C investment round from previous investors Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Index Ventures, the £35m (€43m) round is one of the five biggest UK technology venture capital investments of 2014. It will be used to finance further marketing investment and further expansion into Europe as well as acquisitions.
16 December June 2014 – About the Deal
GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to MyOptique Group. The Group secured £8 million in investment and appointed a new Chairman to bolster its aggressive international expansion plans. The round was led by existing investors Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Index Ventures, who were joined by new investors Cipio Partners and GP Bullhound Sidecar, and will be used to fund both further growth and potential acquisitions.
13 December 2012 – About the Deal
GP Bullhound acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Prescription Eyewear Ltd (PEL) on its capital raise and acquisition of LensOn AB, the leading independent online retailer of contact lenses and accessories in Northern Europe.
The transaction re-affirms PEL as the European leader in the growing online optical segment with a full offering covering all three major segments in the eyewear market (prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses). The combined group will have generated nearly £30m of Gross Retail Sales in 2012 and is profitable. The acquisition was financed by: Acton Capital Partners (Etsy, Zooplus, MyTheresa, Linas Matkasse), Highland Capital Partners (VistaPrint, Qihoo, Lulu Lemon, Starent, Quigo) and Index Ventures (Skype, mySQL, Net-A-Porter, ASOS, Etsy, LoveFilm, Last.fm). Additional funding was received from GP Bullhound Sidecar, Silicon Valley Bank and Kreos Capital.
Kevin Cornils, CEO at Prescription Eyewear Ltd commented: “We’re extremely excited to be adding the LensOn team and business into our portfolio of brands including Glasses Direct, Sunglasses Shop and MyOptique. The deal also solidifies PEL’s position as the clear market leader in the fast-growing European online eyewear. GP Bullhound played a critical role in the fundraising and making the acquisition happen. Their sector expertise, Pan European network and team were essential to facilitate a complicated transaction”.
Kevin Cornils, CEO at MyOptique Group commented: “We are delighted to see the support of our existing and new investors, and thrilled to have Maurice Helfgott joining us as Chairman to bring his wealth of experience in fashion retailing as well as public company experience as we accelerate our growth efforts. GP Bullhound played a critical role in the fundraising and their sector expertise and pan European network were important to the success of the round”.
Manish Madhvani, Managing Partner at GP Bullhound stated “We are proud to be associated with the Glasses Direct team and investors who are building the category leader in an exciting sector. This represents the completion of GP Bullhound’s 2nd transaction with Glasses Direct, the firms 16th transaction in 2012 and further reinforces our commitment to growth stage companies in the Internet sector”.