TIME investiert Millionenbetrag in BRILLE24

By on September 6, 2012

Brille24, the leading German online retailer for prescription eyeglasses, has closed an equity financing deal – through its holding Tejado GmbH – with growth investment firm TIME.

The leading German e-retailer specialized in affordable high-quality prescription eyeglasses, signed a financing deal with growth investment firm TIME for an amount of up to €12 million, of which €7 million are invested as of today. Matthias Hunecke, who founded the company in 2007 remains the largest shareholder.

Brille24 fulfills a core consumer need by offering prescription eyeglasses with the same quality as those sold by the traditional opticians, but at very affordable prices – an especially relevant value proposition at a time of economic crisis in Europe.

Brille24 offers a large range of quality frames and corrective lenses at less than one fourth the average price of the traditional optician chains. Since inception Brille24 has experienced a fast growth of its activity with revenue more than doubling over the last two years – and sold more than 220,000 pairs of prescriptions eyeglasses in 2011, mainly in Germany.

The company started its international expansion in 2011 under the brands Brillen24, Opticien24 and Optica24. Brille24 mid-term goal is to strengthen its European leadership and to exceed annual sales volumes of 1 million eyeglasses.

TIME investment provides the equity and expertise to the team to reinforce the leadership of Brille24 in Germany and accelerate the expansion in selected European countries.

Brille24 is fully consistent with TIME policy to operate at the heart of the digital revolution by focusing on equity investments in fast growing and innovative European companies in the Telecom, Internet, Digital Media and E-business sectors.

Mario Zimmermann and Martin van Os, Brille24´s CEO and CFO: “Brille24 is entering a new phase through the further expansion of its product portfolio and geographical footprint. TIME management team has a solid pan-European managerial and entrepreneurial experience, a detailed understanding of the e-commerce industry and the capacity to support us in strategic decisions. As such, TIME is the partner of choice for Brille24 ambitious development.”

Jean-Luc Cyrot, Partner at TIME Equity Partners: “Quality has always been the motto of Brille24 founder and management team. They have been visionary setting up partnerships with major optics industry players since inception. Strictly controlled by certified opticians, Brille24 eyeglasses benefit from the same social security and health insurance coverage as the eyeglasses from the traditional opticians networks. With its high product quality and outstanding value proposition Brille24 displays first-class customer satisfaction and repeat order rates.”

About TIME: www.time-ep.com
TIME Equity Partners sources and manages the investments of the growth capital platform TIME Investors, which focuses on companies operating at the heart of the digital revolution. Funded by Yam Invest, an investment company created by four European entrepreneurs, TIME provides flexible equity financing to accelerate the growth of dynamic, profitable and innovative European companies in the TIME (Telecom, Internet, Media and E-Business) sectors. The management team of TIME Equity Partners (Henri de Bodinat, Jean-Stéphane Bonneton and Jean-Luc Cyrot) combines a strong background in management and technology in the digital sector with an entrepreneurial DNA, a must-have to fully understand and support digital companies at key stages of their development. Established in Paris in 2009 TIME has to date invested around €50 million in seven leading digital companies, among which its two last investments in Brille24 and iConcerts (the world leader in pre-recorded concert broadcasting).

About Brille24: www.brille24.de
Established in 2007 in Germany, Brille24’s success is built on one simple idea: selling quality prescription eyeglasses online at a wide discount compared to traditional off-line opticians. Brille24 offers more than 500 frames as well as a large choice of shapes and colors for the lenses at only two all-inclusive prices. The price also includes options that are usually charged as extras by traditional opticians: anti-reflective lenses, smudge-proof lenses, etc. The leading eyeglasses e-retailer in Germany, thanks to a high product quality, a superior production and logistic chain, partnerships with major optics industry players and a very attractive price point, Brille24 has expanded internationally since 2011 in the Netherlands (Brillen24.nl), Belgium (Brillen24.be and Opticien24.be) or Spain (Optica24.es) and will soon address new markets in Eastern and Northern Europe. CEO Mario Zimmermann (formerly at Brand4Friends) and CFO Martin van Os (formerly at Soundcloud) drive the company´s growth supported by founder Matthias Hunecke (Chairman of the Board). The aim of the company is to become the leading pan-European prescription eyeglasses e-retailer and to exceed annual sales volume of one million eyeglasses.

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