Investment, Venture Capital

Sequoia-Backed Chinese Eyewear Producer LOHO Secures $100M Round

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Hong Kong LOHO Eyewear Lifestyle LLC., backed by Sequoia Capital China, has secured close to US$100 million in a series C financing round injected by private equity firm Centurium Capital.

With a focus on "Internet + Fashion", LOHO Eyewear Lifestyle offers all-in-one service including eyewear design, production, sales, and customer support to China’s vast number of eyewear consumers. The company’s brand LOHO Eyewear Lifestyle is one of the most popular eyewear brands in China. The company currently operates 326 offline stores, covering over 100 Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. It also operates online sales channels.

"The company currently stands at a critical time for future expansion. We will use the proceeds in brand promotion and supply-chain expansion, and invest more money in expanding our eyewear products and perfecting customer service," said Huang Xinzhong, founder and CEO of LOHO Eyewear Lifestyle, in an announcement.

As the world’s leading manufacturer of eyewear products, China is also becoming one of the world’s largest potential consumer. According to a World Health Organisation report, China has 600 million people with myopia, accounting for nearly half the country’s population.

The myopic rate is especially prominent among the young population. Due to long hours of study at school and at home, and the excessive use of electronic devices, the rate of myopia occurrence exceeds 70% in senior high schools and universities and approaches 50% in primary schools, according to related statistics.

According to Euromonitor estimates, retail sales of spectacles in China increased by 5.8% to RMB69.9 billion (US$10.16 billion) in 2017. Sales of sunglasses showed the fastest growth, registering a 6.8% year-on-year increase.

Before the series C financing round, LOHO has already completed three rounds with at least US$25 million raised in total. Sequoia Capital China and venture capital fund Vertex Venture Holdings led a US$20 million series B round in the company in September 2015. In January 2014, the company completed a US$5 million series A+ round participated by Vertex Venture Holdings and South Korean private equity fund KTB Asset Management Co. Vertex Venture Holdings also invested in the company’s series A round in July 2013 with an undisclosed financing amount.

Centurium Capital, founded by ex-Warburg Pincus head of China David Li, is a private equity firm specializing in investments in the healthcare and consumer sectors in China.


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