May 21, 2024
Pair Eyewear sets its peepers on international expansion following $75M Series C


Pair Eyewear, a direct-to-consumer customizable eyewear brand, raised $75 million in new Series C funding to boost its automated U.S. manufacturing technology and expand its customer base around the world.

The company enables glasses-wearing adults and children to easily change their look with over 1,000 “top frame” options from brands like DC Comics, Marvel and sports leagues, to popular television shows and movies to artists like Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo. Glasses start at $60 per pair, including prescription lenses, and come with a digital experience. Top frames start at $25.

It’s been a minute since we last checked in on the New York-based company, which last raised two rounds of funding, $60 million and $12 million, in 2021.

During the announcement of its round in December 2021, the company was shifting its focus more on adults and social media, two strategies that Pair Eyewear co-CEO and co-founder Sophia Edelstein told TechCrunch has paid off.

“Since then, we’ve continued to grow exponentially here within the United States, mainly as an adult brand,” Edelstein said. “Today, over 95% of our customers are adults purchasing for themselves, and at the end of this year, we will have sold over 3 million top brands here in the United States and Canada. We’re also really proud that the population of our customers very much resembles the U.S. Census. It’s our thesis of trying to provide people with an affordable, accessible and personalized solution and having that come through.”

Specifically, the company saw revenue grow 24x between 2020 and 2023, and is expecting to double its year over year revenue at the end of this year. Among that, TikTok accounts for over 25% of the brand’s total sales and millions in revenue.

In the past year, the company also launched a wider base frame collection to cater to a more full range of head sizes. And in September, Pair Eyewear became a vertically integrated manufacturing facility where it creates all of its lenses and top frames in-house. The 40,000-square-foot facility is located in California and Edelstein touted it as “the most automated lens lab in the United States.” A second facility will open in the near future.

Meanwhile, Prysm Capital led the funding round and was joined by existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Javelin Venture Partners and NFL player Christian McCaffrey.

Edelstein wouldn’t divulge the company’s valuation, however, she did share that it is “a significant increase from last round.” The new investment brings Pair Eyewear’s total venture-backed capital to $145 million to date.

This was “an opportunistic round,” according to Edelstein. Investors were attracted to the business model, healthy margins and the company’s growth plan, especially in this economic environment that has been challenging for consumer companies, she added.

That sentiment was echoed by Matt Roberts, co-founder and partner at Prysm Capital, who said in a written statement that, “With a differentiated and customizable product, an ecosystem of brand partnerships and a focus on community, Pair is loved by its customers. Further, the company’s continued innovation and investment in automation technology have reinforced their ability to execute on the growth opportunity ahead, and we look forward to partnering with the team on their expansion journey.”

Edelstein intends to deploy the new funds into additional automation technology and expansion of the lens lab and its product line. The company is also eyeing omnichannel distribution, which would put Pair Eyewear into a retail setting for the first time.

“We love the idea of ‘Made in the U.S.’ and really investing in onshore manufacturing,” Edelstein said. “In addition to that, we also have our eyes set on international expansion. Our vision for the company is to be a global eyewear company. People wanting to express themselves and express their individuality is really something that appeals to people all across the world.”

 



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