Crédit Agricole Private Equity has invested €1.3 million in Netzoptiker.de, a German online spectacles and contact lens retailer, in another joint investment with the Berlin-based seed investor Rocket Internet GmbH.
Netzoptiker.de claims to charge up to charge up to 60 per cent less than brick-and-mortar opticians, while also offering features such as virtual try-on, individually crafted spectacles and advice service
Even a product as inherently challenging to produce and sell as tailored, high-quality varifocal glasses can be bought on online. Lenses are made to prescription in the company’s own workshop.
“We are convinced that there is tremendous medium-term potential for online eyewear sales,” says Christian Claussen, Senior Partner within Crédit Agricole Private Equity’s Venture Capital team. “In Germany alone, over ten million pairs of spectacles are sold every year, with a growing percentage marketed over the Internet. But successful online retailers offer customers more than just standard products at lower prices.”