Pair Eyewear Inc. is raising $75 million in funding as it ramps up production of its customizable glasses and prepares for international expansion.
(Bloomberg) — Pair Eyewear Inc. is raising $75 million in funding as it ramps up production of its customizable glasses and prepares for international expansion.
The round was led by venture firm Prysm Capital and joined by New Enterprise Associates and Javelin Venture Partners. Early investor and NFL star Christian McCaffrey participated as well. It brings the company’s total funding to nearly $150 million.
Management plans to use the capital to begin expanding distribution abroad, augment its new manufacturing facilities and enter physical retail stores through partnerships and shop-in-shops. Pair’s eyeglasses and sunglasses have thus far only been sold direct-to-consumer on its website.
Pair burst onto the scene in 2017 with its top-frame system, which lets wearers snap different styles onto existing frames. Customers purchase the $60 base frame plus $25 add-ons that are often released in limited-edition drops.
“We’re looking to open in a large volume of stores,” said co-founder Sophia Edelstein. The company may also consider opening its own company-operated locations in the future. “No matter where you are in the US and Canada, you should be able to touch and feel Pair glasses.”
Eyewear labels have piqued investors’ interest lately, with Indian retailer Lenskart securing a $500 million investment from an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund earlier this year. Pair has also attracted a variety of celebrity backers, including basketball star D’Angelo Russell, fashion influencer Olivia Culpo and actor Sterling K. Brown.
In the past year, Pair has opened two 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facilities in California as it increases domestic production. The company now has about 160 employees, including 90 in manufacturing, and is on track to sell nearly 2 million of its top-frames in 2023.
Executives declined to share revenue figures, but said sales have doubled year-over-year and that the company is on the “path to profitability.”
Pair has added a wide range of licensing partners for its top-frames across sports and entertainment, including arrangements with Marvel Entertainment, Sesame Street and the National Basketball Association. Its latest initiative has been its entry into the art world, through deals with the Van Gogh Museum and the Frida Kahlo brand.
“We plan to expand that further into the celebrity and fashion realm over the coming years,” said co-founder Nathan Kondamuri.
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