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Dutch Affordable eyewear brand working on retail innovation and virtual vision scores €14.25M funding

Dutch eyewear brand, Ace & Tate, raised €14.25 million investment to fund its expansion across Europe. The round was led by existing investor Rinkelberg Capital LTD. Other existing investor base includes Global Founders Capital, Investion and various angel investors also participated. This brings the company’s total amount raised to €57.5 million.

The company intends to use the funding in three critical areas – retail expansion in new and existing European markets, new technologies to advance the brand’s omnichannel model, and to become a more environmentally responsible company.

Witnessed 60% growth YoY

In the past couple of years, Ace & Tate has grown 60% year on year, delivering its first operationally profitable months in 2019. The Dutch company aims to double its revenue in the next two years. Notably, the shoppers are looking for more agile retail options to shop, try-on, and purchase frames, particularly now, as the COVID19 lockdown relinquishes its hold on Europe.

“Ace & Tate was founded to make quality, stylish eyewear accessible, by giving our customers the best retail experience possible. The recent round of funding will allow us to unify our physical and digital retail channels even further, and to create a frictionless, more personalised shopping experience for our customers,” says CEO Mark de Lange.

Physical stores

Ace & Tate is committed to opening 16 stores across Europe in 2020, bringing the total store count to 70, across 10 countries. The company is constantly innovating digitally to improve the in-store experience. Most recently added is the “Offline Wishlist” function. Staff can upload frames that customers tried on in-store, giving them the opportunity to virtually try-on at home, and purchase online.

Virtual Improvements

The styling and optician appointments are available online, and customers in The Netherlands and Germany can renew their prescription via an online eye test. Ace & Tate’s Virtual Try-On service will see significant improvements in the coming months with the integration of facial analysis, to provide personalised recommendations to customers, both online and in-store.

Sustainability

Furthermore, the Amsterdam-based brand will launch two new initiatives this summer, to move away from virgin plastic use as well as build a circular business model to reduce waste.

First, Reframe – allows customers to recycle their used Ace & Tate frames for store credit. These frames will then be refurbished and offered to customers in limited collections. The second initiative sees the brand launch its first recycled acetate collection, made from pre-consumer acetate waste.

De Lange concludes, “As we move into 2021, our customers remain our focus. We will continue our mission to lead the eyewear industry to be more accessible and sustainable.” The Reframe initiative launched in June in select locations in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the UK. 

Main image credits: Ace & Tate

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