Oakley Capital agrees to acquire Horizons Optical

horizons optical

LONDON, UK: Oakley Capital Origin Fund I has agreed to acquire Horizons Optical, a provider of medical software used to make premium spectacle lenses.

Oakley Capital Origin Fund is acquiring a majority stake in the business alongside CEO Santiago Soler, who will retain a significant share in the business and will continue to lead Horizons. As part of the agreement, Oakley Capital is acquiring the shares in Horizons owned by Sherpa Capital, a leading private equity firm in Iberia.

Founded in Barcelona in 2017, Horizons’ proprietary and patented software is used by independent laboratories around the world to manufacture bespoke, ‘progressive’ lenses that can correct a range of eye conditions including short, mid and far sightedness as well as astigmatism, all in one lens.

Lenses manufactured using Horizons’ patented technology are positioned in the highest value-added segments of the optical industry, standing out for their distinctive qualities and outstanding optical performance. 10 million lenses were produced with Horizons’ technology in 2023. Horizons also provides equipment for opticians with the capability to scan consumers’ faces and measure relevant facial parameters for the manufacturing of lenses and frames.

Horizons has a strong, historical track record generating double-digit revenue growth. The fast-growing business is internationally diversified with Europe and the US each accounting for approximately a third of revenues, followed by APAC and South America.

Horizons Optical operates in a lens market with strong, long-term growth prospects, underpinned by a growing ageing population and the increased incidence of vision conditions caused by excessive screen time on mobile phones and desktop computers. At the same time, Horizons is growing the market by developing tools to help opticians sell to more customers, including its recently-launched Mimesys virtual reality headset which enables optometrists to accurately measure customers’ eyes in order to produce bespoke lenses.

Oakley’s investment in Horizons reflects its strategy of partnering with founder-led, entrepreneurial businesses to help them innovate and grow. Oakley will leverage its strong track record of building market leaders to help Horizon accelerate its international growth plans, taking market share as a high-quality, innovative solution for lens manufacturers and opticians looking to offer bespoke eyecare solutions for consumers, while also leveraging its strong market reputation for exceptional customer service. Oakley will also support investment into R&D and Sales & Marketing to ensure Horizons continues to win as an innovator and disruptor in its core markets.

This will be Oakley’s sixth deal in Spain, following vLex, Seedtag, Alerce, Grupo Primavera (now part of Cegid), idealista, and several education assets, reinforcing its commitment to Iberia as a key investment destination. It will also be Origin I’s 9th investment after which the Fund will be c.75% invested.

Oakley Capital co-founder and Managing Partner Peter Dubens said: “Horizons Optical has all the hallmarks of a typical Oakley deal: a disruptive market leader, with strong software IP and led by an exceptional management team. We look forward to working with Santiago to help the business realise its full potential, taking advantage of strong market growth drivers as well as leveraging our expertise helping to scale software businesses including Grupo Primavera in Iberia.”

Horizons Optical CEO Santiago Soler said: “Our focus on quality, innovation and exceptional customer care have driven Horizons’ strong performance to date. Oakley clearly shares our values and so we are delighted to be partnering with the firm as we embark on the next stage of our expansion. We have travelled this path of growth alongside a strong partner in Sherpa Capital, to whom we are grateful not only for their investment in Horizons and belief in our potential but also for providing the company with a spirit of continuous improvement and excellence. We see enormous potential to further grow our international business, benefitting from Oakley’s expertise to expand our service offering and drive professional improvements across our business.”

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