Ecommerce startup Blenders is valued at $90 million and projected to hit $42 million in 2019 sales. Blenders sells stylish sunglasses for $20-$65.

Italian Safilo Group S.p.A. announced today it acquired a 70% stake in digital native retailer Blenders Eyewear.

Blenders is valued at $90 million, and the 7-year-old eyewear retailer is projecting $42 million in online sales in 2019, according to the press release announcing the acquisition. Safilo is the parent brand of Smith Optics, Carrera and Polaroid Eyewear.

Blenders founder and CEO Chase Fisher will remain CEO. Blenders will use Safilo’s global reach to expand its distribution to new markets and will help it “enhance production efficiencies,” according to the press release.

Blenders adds a focus on the U.S. market and direct-to-consumer know-how to the Safilo portfolio, said Safilo CEO Angel Trocchia.

Fisher launched San Diego-based Blenders in 2012 when Fisher realized there was a gap in the market for $20-$65 sunglasses. Blenders has been profitable since the start, according to the release.

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Although Blenders has grown fast in the past few years, it is not among the top eyewear retailers that Digital Commerce 360 tracks in its Top 1000. The largest eyewear retailers by 2018 online sales, which includes retailers of eyewear and contacts, are:

  1. EssilorLuxottica, No. 104 in the Top 1000
  2. 1-800 Contacts Inc., No. 121
  3. Warby Parker, No. 168
  4. GlassesUSA LLC, No. 175
  5. Zenni Optical Inc., No. 245

Digital Commerce 360 tracks eight eyewear retailers in the Top 1000 and six more in the Next 1000. Collectively, the eight Top 1000 eyewear retailers grew their 2018 sales 20.4% year over year, with the median growth rate for retailers in this category at 18.4%. In the Next 1000, the eyewear category grew 15.6% year over year, with a median growth rate of 15.7%.

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