Fielmann Announces Multimillion Investment in Augmented Reality Leader FittingBox

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HAMBURG, Germany—Fielmann Ventures GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fielmann AG one of the world’s largest optical retail groups, announced yesterday that it has subscribed to a capital increase for a 20 percent equity ownership stake in FittingBox S.A., a leader in 3D try-on solutions dedicated to eyewear. This investment is a decisive step in Fielmann's digitization strategy, Fieldmann stated. Both parties agreed to keep the financial terms of the transaction confidential. Marc Fielmann, CEO, Fielmann AG, said, "With 13 patents, FittingBox is a global leader in 3D try-on and fitting technology.

Through this investment Fielmann deepens its technological partnership with FittingBox. We jointly pursue the strategic goal of providing customers with a unique experience in an omnichannel world of quality prescription eyewear. Fielmann develops innovative technologies such as a millimeter-exact 3D lens-fitting in order to enable Fielmann quality online. This way we digitize the eyewear industry to the benefit of consumers without compromising on quality."

Thomas Rützel, CEO Fielmann Ventures, added, "The investment in FittingBox is the result of detailed analyses performed by Fielmann Ventures over the last years. FittingBox provides a 3D try-on solution that is technologically superior to all relevant alternatives. It is a key component of the digital eyewear platform that Fielmann Ventures is building together with its partners."

Benjamin Hakoun, CEO and co-ounder, FittingBox S.A. stated, "We are thrilled to have Fielmann as a new investor in the company. While providing FittingBox with additional capital to develop the technology solutions and sales efforts even faster, Fielmann is one of the leading optical companies worldwide with whom we share a customer-centric culture. Together we will accelerate FittingBox's leadership in augmented reality solutions to empower the entire eyewear customer journey from online to instore. In terms of closing the transaction with Fielmann we are extremely pleased to have worked with Squair Law as legal advisor and CapM Advisors as our financial advisor."

Ariel Choukroun, CTO and do-founder, FittingBox, noted, "Beyond its shareholding, Fielmann's customer knowledge and its resources will provide a clear opportunity for FittingBox to develop and design more effective digital eyewear solutions, for the benefit of the consumers and of our customers, such as retailers, e-tailers and manufacturers. The existing investors in FittingBox, Kreaxi and the LBO France venture fund, who have supported the growth of the company over the last few years, are remaining active shareholders in FittingBox."

Within the next few weeks Fielmann will introduce the new technology to Austria in order to complement its new omnichannel customer experience instore and online. 2019 will see the implementation of the new system in Germany.

Fielmann Ventures GmbH was founded in August 2012 as an independent subsidiary of Fielmann AG and is based in Hamburg. Fielmann Ventures identifies, develops and supports products, technologies and sustainable business models for the future of the eyewear industry.

Fielmann stands for fashionable eyewear at fair prices. The stock-listed family business operates more than 700 stores across Europe and 24 million customers wear Fielmann glasse; in Germany the company sells every second pair. Fielmann covers the whole value chain of the optical industry, as designer, manufacturer and optical retailer.

Founded in 2006 is based in Toulouse, France with offices in Miami, Fla. The company provides cutting-edge, interactive solutions and digital content to the eyewear industry. FittingBox also builds and maintains the world's largest database of frames photos and 3D models of frames. With a strong focus on research and innovation, FittingBox has won numerous awards over its 10+ year history.

“Jobson’s Frames Data group and Fitting Box have partnered since 2012, to help expand the VTO product offering and promote the category in the US. Fitting Box technology is embedded in Frames Data’s ‘My Frame Gallery’ offering, an online service that leverages the breadth and scope of Frames Data for independent ECPs’ websites,” commented Tom Lamond, president of Frames Data. He added, “The two companies’ partnership will continue, and this announcement will not impact the ‘My Frame Gallery’ service or its subscribers’ websites.”