L Catterton led an undisclosed investment for Ben & Frank, a Mexican direct-to-consumer eyewear brand, with follow-on from Dila Capital. Dila and Wollef (formerly Jaguar Ventures) invested in February 2018.
(Press Release) – Ben & Frank (the “Company”), a leading direct-to-consumer (“DTC”), omnichannel eyewear brand, today announced that it has received a strategic investment from the Latin America fund of L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton will partner with Ben & Frank to accelerate its growth and expansion in Mexico and throughout Latin America. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Existing investor DILA Capital also participated in the round.
Founded in 2015, Ben & Frank is successfully disrupting the traditional optical industry in Latin America with fashionable, accessible, and affordable eyewear without the typical industry mark-up created by manufacturers, intermediaries, and wholesalers. With a successful omnichannel and customer-centric model that offers both a great in-store shopping experience and a best-in-class e-commerce platform, Ben & Frank has delivered rapid, profitable growth in Mexico and following a successful online launch in Chile, recently opened its first store in Santiago. Ben & Frank has established a strong brand identity with innovative marketing programs to drive awareness including strategic collaborations and exclusive designs by local artists and designers. Today, with nearly 50 stores, Ben & Frank is looking to significantly expand its footprint in Mexico and Latin America during the next few years.
“This investment is a reflection of Ben & Frank’s strong momentum and the innovative approach of our entire team,” said Mariana Castillo, Co-CEO of Ben & Frank. “We are poised to capture significant market share as we continue to open new stores and enter new markets, and we are very excited to partner with L Catterton in this next chapter of expansion.”
“Consumers increasingly value brands that deliver engaging and seamless digital experiences. We intend to leverage L Catterton’s operational and branding expertise as we continue providing consumers a best-in-class omnichannel shopping experience, from our site to our stores,” added Eduardo Paulsen, Co-CEO of Ben & Frank.
“Ben & Frank represents a compelling opportunity to invest in a high-growth, leading, omnichannel eyewear brand with tremendous potential ahead,” said Julio Babecki, Managing Partner, L Catterton Latin America. “With its seamless direct-to-consumer strategy, Ben & Frank has eliminated intermediaries, enabling the Company to elevate customer experiences and offer attractive glasses at accessible price points.”
“Together with Mariana and Eduardo, we are excited to build on the Company’s significant momentum, accelerate growth, and strengthen its brand leadership across Latin America,” said Farah Khan, Partner at L Catterton.
L Catterton has significant experience investing globally in consumer retail brands. Current and past investments include FYidoctors, Owndays, Gentle Monster, and 98point6. Other L Catterton Latin America investments include NotCo, Petlove, Despegar.com, OdontoCompany, FEMME, Cholula, Espaçolaser, Grupo MYT, St. Marche, Luigi Bosca, Susana Balbo Wines, Rapsodia, and Bodytech.
About Ben & Frank
Founded in 2015 in Mexico City, Ben & Frank is the leading DTC eyewear brand in Mexico and an emerging leader in Latin America. Ben & Frank’s goal is to disrupt the traditional eyewear buying experience through a customer-centric approach and eliminating intermediaries to offer attractive pricing. With brick-and-mortar retail locations in Mexico and Chile, as well as a seamless digital platform, Ben & Frank is rapidly expanding throughout Latin America. For more information about Ben & Frank, please visit www.benandfrank.com.
About L Catterton
With approximately $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world, L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. L Catterton’s team of nearly 200 investment and operating professionals, partners with management teams around the world to implement strategic plans to foster growth, leveraging deep category insight, operational excellence, and a broad partnership network. Since 1989, the firm has made over 250 investments in leading consumer brands. For more information about L Catterton, please visit www.lcatterton.com.