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Ratan Tata to exit Lenskart, makes a killing with 28X return on investment

Tata’s stake will be taken over by an existing investor in the start-up.

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NEW DELHI: It’s the basic rule of investing: buy and sell at the right price, at the right time. Mastery of this tenet is one of the reasons why Ratan Tata is among the most celebrated and venerated Indian businessmen. The billionaire is known for his angel investment in fledgling enterprises – and one such investment of his has paid off, and how! According to an exclusive report by Entrackr, Tata is exiting eyewear start-up Lenskart, with a 28 times return on the investment of Rs 10 lakh he made in the company in 2016.

Regulatory filings reveal that Lenskart’s board has passed a special resolution to convert all the preference shareholdings held by Tata upon receiving his request for liquidation through secondary sale. It has allotted 24,246 equity shares at a face value of Rs 2 each to Tata.

The Entrackr report said that Tata’s stake in the company will be taken over by an existing investor in the start-up.

Tata’s other notable bets in the start-up space include weather forecaster ClimaCell, CarDekho, CureFit, Silicon Valley-based bitcoin firm Abra and smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi.

Lenskart, which became a unicorn in December 2019 after a $231 million investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, is also reportedly headed for an initial public offering (IPO). It is also backed by investors including Kedaara Capital, Premji Invest, Chiratae Ventures among others. The start-up was one of the handful of consumer-facing businesses to turn profitable in 2020 amid the economic downturn caused by the Covid2019 pandemic.

The Delhi NCR-based eyewear retailer was founded by Peyush Bansal, Amit Chaudhary and Sumeet Kapahi in 2010. Lenskart manufactures, assembles, distributes and supplies its products across 700 stores across India.

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