Turnkey eyewear licensing platform Eponym has raised $7 million in a Series A financing round.
Tenfore Holdings, Tribeca Venture Partners, RiverPark Ventures and WTI led the investment round. The latest raise will enable the company to expand its staff and accelerate its marketing and retail operations from its existing partners, as well as build new technology, the company said.
The platform allows designers to create sunwear and optical lines, including distribution of prescription eyewear, directly to their customers under their own label in their own stores and online. The site operates under the name Eponymous.co, and was founded in 2010 by Andrew Lipovsky. Lipovsky serves as the company’s ceo.
Lipovsky said, “This investment reaffirms that brands and consumers alike want eyewear to be more accessible.” He said the funding will help his firm “solidify” its place as the leader in digital-first licensing for brands.
The company embeds itself with each brand’s design team to create an eyewear line. Once developed, Eponym hosts a customer-designed web site on its platform to sell the eyewear and builds technology to support in-store sales. The platform also handles product fulfillment, customer service, CRM and advertising to support the brand.
Eponym recently re-signed its first brand partner Steven Alan to a new 10-year contract. The company said it also has long-term deals with brands such as Alice + Olivia and Jason Wu.
According to Eponym, in the three years since Steven Alan Optical launched, the sunwear and eyewear collections account for between 8 and 10 percent of the brand’s top-line business and 20 percent of its total physical retail space. The Steven Alan brand has four optical locations in Manhattan, including the two stores opened in July in the West Village and NoLIta.