•While it initially began with a B2B sales approach, it has since abandoned that model, favouring direct contact with the customers.
•Lapaire, which began in Kenya in 2018 currently operates in six countries – Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda.
Kenyan born eye wear startup, Lapaire, has secured $3million (Sh476 million) private equity funding to scale up operations across Africa.
Following the closure of the deal, the firm intends to open 300 eye care centres, with the target for 2024 being 80 new locations.
Impact investment fund, Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), led the equity round, which had AAIC, FINCA Ventures, and Beyond Capital pitching in.
Cross Boundary provided advisory support for the deal through USAID's Africa Trade and Investment activity.
"Over the last few years, we worked hard to build a highly scalable model and we are now in the best position to accelerate our growth to positively impact the life of 1 million people across the continent by 2026," said Lapaire Founder and CEO, Jerome Lapaire.
Lapaire, which began in Kenya in 2018 currently operates in six countries – Côte d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda.
It also operates 58 eye care centres in these countries, offering free eye tests to potential customers.
While it initially began with a B2B sales approach, it has since abandoned that model, favouring direct contact with the customers.
Eye care in developing countries like Kenya, and many other African states remain one of the underfunded health sectors, making it expensive to access treatment.
An estimated 35 per cent of the African population lives with vision impairments, of which 80 per cent can be corrected using eye glasses.
However, getting a pair of glasses is often expensive for the average person.
There’s also a shortage of trained eye care professionals, and the World Health Organisation estimates that only 13 countries in Africa meet the standard of one eye health professional per 55,000 people.
From single optical shop in 2018, the Lapaire Group currently operates 58 stores across its markets.
Lapaire adds to the list of Kenyan firms that have secured funding in recent months.
Early in the week, Kenya was ranked the leading recipient of funding channeled to start ups in Africa, as ranked by "The Big Deal", beating countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.
The Big Deal, is a platform that tracks startup funding in Africa.