We empower & inspire people to wear glasses with joy and confidence
The way to find the right glasses should be an easy, intuitive and innovative process for our customers. That is why we offer them smart solutions, information and services that enable a unique shopping experience and provide inspiration at the same time – both on- and offline. Because purchasing a pair of glasses should do one thing above all else: easy. We want our customers to wear their new glasses or sunglasses with joy and confidence.
About the company
At Mister Spex, customers have access to an extensive range of over 100 attractive premium and luxury brands, trendy independent labels and high-quality private label brands, as well as selected designer and influencer collaborations. Thanks to the seamless and systematic omnichannel interlinking of online and offline offers, we create an individual shopping experience and, at the same time, give our customers the freedom to decide for themselves when, where and how they shop. Innovative technologies and smart, data-supported features play a central role in this.
As a driver of digital transformations, we have had a significant impact on the optics industry since the day we were founded. Today, Mister Spex is the leading, digitally native omnichannel optical brand in Europe with over five million customers. We operate online shops in ten countries, over 40 stores in Germany, Austria and Sweden, and a comprehensive network of over 400 partner opticians. Since our first year, our sales have been growing steadily in the double-digit percentage range, and, in the 2020 financial year, we were able to generate sales of 164 million euros with a positive adjusted EBITDA of around 7 million euros. While the overall market for glasses shrank by 8 percent in Germany in 2020, and, in Europe, by as much as 13 percent in revenue, Mister Spex was able to grow its sales by 18 percent in that same year, thus once again proving the sustained success of its omnichannel strategy, even in a challenging market environment.
164 million euros in sales
7 million Euro adjusted EBITDA
More than 5 million
More than 20,000 orders
More than 1,000 employees
from 58 countries
Mister Spex impresses with its multi-award-winning, digitally anchored omnichannel concept with seamless linking of online and offline offers. The advantage of our approach lies in the mutual strengthening of both channels, which creates valuable synergies.
An essential foundation for Mister Spex’s omnichannel success is its high level of brand awareness of over 70 percent.1) Thanks to the data- and technology-driven core of our business model, we are also continuously gathering valuable insights into the needs of our customers, thus developing a deep understanding of the market, which, in turn, forms the basis for our further expansion. This results in two crucial advantages: firstly, we know how and where to best get loyalty from our customers online and in our stores, and, secondly, the brand is already well established locally when we open a new store.
We are also expanding our target groups with our offline offers. By a digitally anchored purchase process, with a high proportion of educational formats, new customers in the stores are introduced to the online purchase process step by step, resulting in a very high repurchase rate via the online shop. At the same time, the share of online-only purchases without prior contact with the stores in regions where we are represented offline grows by more than 20 percent on average within three years after opening. The online and offline businesses stimulate each other, create valuable synergies and thus contribute significantly to the success of Mister Spex.
(1) 72% aided brand awareness, Q4 2020 Germany; online shoppers aged 18–59 years
Dirk Graber studied business administration in Marburg, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Leipzig. He received his degree in business administration from the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HHL). Before founding Mister Spex, Graber worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group for several years.
He gained his first e-commerce experience while still at university thanks to internships at eBay and Jamba. He also worked at KPMG and Commerzbank. As founder, Co-CEO and part of the Mister Spex Management Board, he is responsible in particular for the areas of business development, IT, data analytics, operations and purchasing.
Dr. Mirko Caspar
Dr. Mirko Caspar Kassel, Germany, on January 21, 1972. He studied business administration at the Westphalian Wilhelms-University of Münster. In addition, he gained his PhD in brand strategies with Professor Heribert Meffert.
Dr. Caspar worked as a management consultant with a focus on strategy, marketing and brand management at McKinsey before he took on a leadership role at Universal Music Germany. In 2006 he co-founded the virtual world company Metaversum and acted as one of the managing directors. He has also co-founded the agencies Userlutions GmbH and Caspar-Feld Marketing-Performance GmbH. Since 2011 he has been Co-CEO at Mister Spex. Today he is part of the Management Board and in charge of marketing, category management, product management, as well as the retail stores and international markets.
As Chief Human Resources Officer and part of the Managment Board at Mister Spex, Maren Kroll manages the company’s human resources as well as the topics of ESG and corporate communications. She studied psychology with a focus on organisational psychology and business administration at the Technical University of Berlin and then completed a course of study in HR management at the SGD Business School. Important professional positions before Mister Spex included Vice President for HR at Harry’s Inc. and Head of Business Partnering Technology and People Development and Employer Branding at Zalando. Before that, she lived in Australia for seven years and held various HR management positions at EnergyAustralia.
Dr. Sebastian Dehnen
Sebastian Dehnen studied economics with a focus on strategy and international management at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. Subsequently, he earned his doctorate while working part-time with a focus on internationalization strategies in emerging markets. Sebastian Dehnen has more than ten years of professional experience in strategic and operational financial management in an international environment, including as CFO at AutoGravity Corp. in California and as CFO and COO at the car2go Group. At Mister Spex he is part of the Management Board and responsible for the global management of the Finance and Legal departments.
Scottish Equity Partners
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is one of the largest and most experienced venture capital teams in Europe. Since 1991, SEP has invested in over 150 companies, many of which are now successful worldwide. In addition to its investment interest, a partnership with SEP also includes building a close relationship with management and providing advice. The company focuses on venture capital investments in companies in the IT, healthcare, and energy sectors.
More information about Scottish Equity Partners is available at www.sep.co.uk
With over 150 years of history and annual revenues of around $34 billion, Goldman Sachs is one of the best-known investment banks in the world. Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division (MDB) has made more than $140 billion in long-term investments since 1986. With eight branches in six countries around the world, MBD is one of the largest managers of private capital worldwide and offers extensive expertise and long-standing relationships with companies, investors, companies, and financial institutions around the world.
Learn more about Goldman Sachs at http://www.goldmansachs.com
Büll Family Office
The Büll Family Office is a single-family office based in Hamburg. Its investment activities focus on real estate development, climate-smart control of real estate, renewables, growth financing for start-ups, and venture capital.
Grazia, based in Stuttgart, has supported a large number of mostly young companies, helping them move from the initial idea to the IPO or sale. Unlike typical venture capital companies, Grazia mainly works with its own capital. The resulting advantages benefit the companies in its portfolio. This includes independence, understanding of the situation, as well as quick and pragmatic decisions.
Grazia invests between a few hundred thousand and several million euros per investment, primarily in Germany and Europe and as a co-investor in selected situations also in the USA. The company has successfully weathered two major financial market crises and has shown that it is not just good at surfing the waves when the weather is good. Fairness, empathy, and passion are essential values in everyday life.
Learn more about Equity at www.grazia.com
XAnge is a European venture capital company that was founded in 2003 and specialises in “digital connectivity.” In addition to the main investor, the French La Poste Group, leading companies such as Alten (technology partner), Deloitte, Laser-Cofinoga (Galeries Lafayette Group/BNPP), and Neopost as well as institutional investors such as Allianz France, GMF, CDC, and CNP helped start the company. In 2004, XAnge took over the venture capital division of ABN Amro France and founded XAnge Private Equity with La Banque Postale as its main shareholder. XAnge conducts its business in Germany from its base in Munich and benefits from a strategic partnership with DVC, Deutsche Bank Group.
Learn more about XAnge at www.xange.fr
DN Capital is a venture and growth capital investor specialising in media, technology, and e-commerce companies based in London and Palo Alto. The aim is to identify and invest in digital media and technology companies with global market leadership potential and offer active management support. The companies have included Shazam Entertainment, Apsmart (sold to Thomson Reuters), Endeca Technologies (sold to Oracle), Datanomic (sold to Oracle), Eyeka, Performance Horizon, JacobsRimell (sold to Amdocs), Mister Spex, OLX (sold to Naspers), Airsense Wireless, MPME, Apsalar, Tbricks, and windeln.de. The specialists from DN Capital have over 50 years’ experience in private equity investments.
Learn more about DN Capital at www.dncapital.com
The Co-Investor Group is an investment company that has been making direct investments in medium-sized growth companies in German-speaking countries for 19 years. It has offices in Zurich, Frankfurt am Main, and Berlin. The investment team builds on a wealth of experience from over 65 corporate investments. It currently manages eleven active holdings in different sectors. Its most recent exits have included Euroimmun (sold to US laboratory specialist PerkinElmer), casual food (gradual sale to Swiss company Orior AG), and Amicra (sold to Asian machine manufacturer ASM Pacific Technology Ltd.).
The Co-Investor Group consists of Co-Investor AG, Zurich and its three wholly-owned subsidiaries, Co-Investor Deutschland GmbH, EVP Capital Management AG, and Co-Investor Financial Services GmbH, based in Frankfurt am Main.
Learn more about Co-Investor at https://www.co-investor.com/
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, promising technology companies, which convert research results into business opportunities. The seed financing helps carry the start-ups from R&D to the production of a prototype, a proof of concept, and/or market launch. High-Tech Gründerfonds initially invests an amount of EUR 500,000 and can invest up to a combined total of two million Euros per company in subsequent financing rounds. Investors of the public-private partnership are the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW banking group, and eighteen private corporations: ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann, and Carl Zeiss. The High-Tech Gründerfonds has a funding volume of around €573.5 million (€272 million in Fund I and €301.5 million in Fund II).
Learn more about High-Tech-Gründerfonds at www.high-tech-gruenderfonds.de