Startup Funding Index: Lenskart, LetsTransport, PerplexityAI Score Big

Get ready for a funding frenzy! Lenskart, LetsTransport, and Perplexity AI have scored big investments, propelling them to new heights in the startup world. Don't miss the story of their rapid rise and the impact it's set to make!

New Update
TICE Startup Funding Index

TICE Startup Funding Index

TICE Startup Funding Index: Singapore’s Temasek and US-based Fidelity Investments are reportedly in advanced discussions to invest approximately $200 million in Lenskart, a leading player in the Indian eyewear market. This move, if finalized, would mark a significant milestone for the homegrown eyewear company, catapulting its valuation to around $5 billion. Lenskart's growth trajectory seems poised to outpace its competitors, with its valuation set to surpass that of Warby Parker, a prominent New York-based online eyewear retailer.

Lenskart is currently engaged in negotiations with Temasek and Fidelity for this substantial infusion of funds through a secondary share sale.

According to reports, Temasek, an existing investor in Lenskart, is expected to lead the investment round with a contribution ranging between $125-150 million. Meanwhile, Fidelity is anticipated to make its first-time investment in Lenskart, providing the remaining portion of the targeted $200 million.

What Does This Deal Mean for Investors and Stakeholders?

Should the discussions materialize, Lenskart's valuation would witness a remarkable surge, positioning it at over three times the worth of Warby Parker. This strategic investment round is not only anticipated to fuel Lenskart’s expansion plans but also present an opportunity for early investors like TR Capital, KKR, and Avendus to consider divesting a portion of their holdings. However, SoftBank, the largest institutional investor with a 16.5 percent stake in Lenskart, is not expected to participate in this share sale.

Financial Performance and Previous Funding Rounds

Lenskart’s strategic funding initiative comes on the heels of its robust financial performance in recent years. In FY24, the company is estimated to have generated revenues of Rs 5,500 crore, showcasing substantial growth compared to the previous fiscal year. The upward trajectory in revenue has been consistent, with FY23 recording a doubling in revenue to Rs 3,780 crore and a significant shift from a loss of approximately Rs 100 crore in FY22 to a profit of Rs 260 crore.

This potential investment from Temasek and Fidelity, the valuation of Lenskart is poised to exceed $5 billion redefining industry benchmarks and expand its market presence both domestically and internationally.

LetsTransport Raises $22 Million Led by Bertelsmann India Investments

LetsTransport, a truck aggregator startup, has successfully raised $22 million in a funding round led by Bertelsmann India Investments. The round also witnessed participation from Rebright Partners, NB Ventures, ALES Global, Stride Ventures, CAC Capital, and other investors.

The newly secured funds are earmarked for expanding market presence, scaling adjacent business verticals, and achieving profitability, according to company statements.

Company Background and Services

Established in 2015 by Singh, Sudarshan Ravi, and Ankit Parasher, LetsTransport serves as a platform connecting businesses with fragmented truckers, offering comprehensive transportation solutions. Its services span across various use cases in last-mile, mid-mile, and electrical vehicle (EV) space.

Based in Bengaluru, the startup has attained profitability at the city level in terms of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). It aims to achieve profit after tax (PAT) breakeven by 2025, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable growth.

This funding round comes on the heels of LetsTransport's earlier success, having raised $25 million on June 14 in a funding round also led by Bertelsmann India Investments.

Perplexity AI Raises $63 Million in Funding, Valuation Surpasses $1 Billion

Led by Indian origin American Aravind Srinivas, Perplexity AI, a rising startup in the realm of artificial intelligence-driven search engines, has secured approximately $63 million in a recent funding round, elevating its valuation to over $1 billion. This substantial financing, slated to be unveiled on Tuesday, marks a doubling of Perplexity's valuation in a mere three months.

Who are the Investors and Growing Popularity

Led by investor Daniel Gross, the funding round witnessed the participation of prominent figures such as billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan, and Figma Inc. CEO Dylan Field. Earlier supporters of Perplexity, including Jeff Bezos of and Nvidia Corp., also contributed to the funding round. 

Established less than two years ago, Perplexity distinguishes itself with an AI chatbot that not only summarizes search outcomes but also provides citations and aids users in refining their queries for optimal results. Garnering acclaim for its emphasis on accuracy, Perplexity has notably processed close to 75 million user queries in the US this year alone, surpassing its 2023 record.

While offering both free and paid versions of its service, Perplexity reports generating $20 million in annual recurring revenue. Like many AI enterprises, Perplexity aims to bolster revenue streams by catering AI services to businesses, launching a new enterprise version of its chatbot priced at $40 per month.

Moreover, the startup is eyeing global expansion, having secured distribution partnerships with major carriers like Japan’s SoftBank Corp. and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG, potentially reaching over 300 million users worldwide. Additionally, select customers will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Perplexity.

Join Our Thriving Entrepreneurial Community



Follow TICE News on Social Media and create a strong community of Talent, Ideas, Capital, and Entrepreneurship. YouTube  | Linkedin | X (Twittrer) | Facebook | News Letters