GetOptics Ltd receives a $2 million investment
PRESS RELEASE - GetOptics Ltd receives a $2 million investment
Octopus Ventures Ltd (“Octopus”), a specialist investor in early-stage and expanding companies, is pleased to announce an investment of £1.355 million into GetOptics Ltd (“the Company”). This investment facilitates the acquisition of GetLenses and PostOptics creating GetOptics.
The combination of the two companies under the new brand GetOptics creates the UK’s largest online contact lens and eye care product business. The newly combined company has over 100,000 existing customers, pro forma sales of £6 million and a ‘white label’ online contact lens contract with one of the UK’s largest retailers. The Company has projected growth of 33% for the year following completion.
The UK eye care market is worth £2.3bn per annum, of which contact lenses accounts for nearly £500m and the online contact lens market £25m1. The online contact lens market in the UK is expected to follow the rise in internet retail sales2.
The acquisition of the two companies with total consideration in excess of £5 million is innovatively structured, enabling the deal to go ahead despite the current shortage of traditional debt facilities due to the credit crisis. Nearly 45% of the total consideration for the acquisitions of GetLenses and PostOptics is deferred in place of conventional bank debt.
Octopus’ £1.355m investment in GetOptics gives Octopus a significant minority stake in the business. The funding was provided by the Octopus Titan 1, 2 and 3 VCTs, Eureka EIS, and the Octopus Investor Group.
Commenting on the deal, Michael Kraftman, who will become Chief Executive of GetOptics, said: “GetOptics is ideally placed to take advantage of both the growth in use of contact lenses and the continued expansion of online sales. We already have a wide and loyal base of customers, who continue to place repeat orders with us and our proven expertise means we are in a strong position to expand our “white label” service to other major international retailers.
“The management team retains key people from both GetLenses and PostOptics who will provide invaluable experience as we grow the business. Andrew Harrison from PostOptics will run our Finance and Fulfilment operation and Brendan O’Brien will head Business Development.
Utilizing our market expertise, supplier relationships and strong cash flow to fund the Company’s growth, we will look to expand our offering into Continental Europe.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, Alex Macpherson, Chief Executive of Octopus Ventures, said: “We are delighted to be backing GetOptics’ entrepreneurial management team. From the outset we have been impressed by the team’s vision, enthusiasm, determination and professionalism.
“We believe that the Company’s market leadership excellently positions it to fully exploit the growth in the European on-line contact lens and eye care market. We look forward to providing GetOptics not only with the capital that they need but the strategic support to help them achieve their ambitious expansion plans.”
Jo Oliver led the investment on behalf of Octopus. Shoosmiths was legal adviser to Octopus and Lawrence Graham provided legal advice to the Company.
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