The two largest venture-backed players tackling Brazil’s multibillion dollar eyewear industry have merged in an effort to take a piece from traditional retailers.
The late April merger of, Lema21, an innovative private label startup, and eÓtica, an ecommerce site for prescription eyewear and contacts, is proof that Brazil’s investors are taking a long view toward startup development and not just interested in stamping out their competition.
Lema21 made news last year when they raised a $1.6mm seed round to build the “Warby Parker” of Brazil. Started by co-founders Naomi Arruda, an LVMH veteran, and Jonathan Assayag, a former management consultant and product developer, with their own capital — Lema21 has been selling private label, direct-to-consumer frames to Brazilians since 2013, and has raised $4.2mm to date from VCs, angels and advisors.
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