With an funding of BRL 20 million, Zerezes needs to develop with out franchises

With an funding of BRL 20 million, Zerezes needs to develop with out franchises

If you’re from Rio de Janeiro, you’ve probably heard of Zerezes🇧🇷 With a different proposal of selling eyeglasses to customers, the company expanded its presence in the capital of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and is now prepared to advance nationally. For this, the company raised a contribution of R$ 20 million.

The round was led by Shift Capitalwith the participation of Order VC, and will be key to opening new stores, targeting strategic markets such as São Paulo and other capitals such as Brasíia, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Porto Alegre, starting next year. One detail: unlike other eyewear stores, the company’s plan is to maintain close control of operations – that is: without franchises.

According to the founders of Zerezes, there will be 12 physical stores (8 in Rio and 4 in São Paulo) in 2022, in addition to an intensification of the digital presence, which should result in revenues of BRL 35 million. For next year, the ambition is to reach R$ 60 million, focusing on opening new stores.

Rodrigo Latini, co-founder and CEO of Zerezes, pointed out that the search for input was not a priority for the company, which has been in the market for 10 years, and has experienced good organic growth in recent years. However, alignment with Shift it was a differential when accepting the check.

“At first, it didn’t make sense for us to raise funds with venture capital, as we are not a type of company with an exit deadline. but the Shift understands other points such as brand growth and long-term construction”, says Rodrigo, in an interview with startups🇧🇷 Just to give some context, the Shift invested in chain stores such as The Coffee🇧🇷 Furthermore, in addition to the two funds, who also put their money into the Zerezes was Marcello Bastos, co-founder of farm It’s from sum group🇧🇷

“THE farm for us it is an example of brand and long-term growth. It is a company with 25 market share and today has more than R$ 1 billion in annual revenue”, points out Rodrigo.

different model

Okay, but how to Zerezes ended up becoming a hot name in the optics market? According to the founders, the proposal was to simplify the process of buying prescription glasses. For Hugo Galindo, creative director and also co-founder of the company, the optical market has forgotten the consumer’s priority to focus on his need, which is to sell lenses. “It was a problem that the market ended up creating because of the way it is”, explains Hugo.

In the case of Zerezes, the different lens options leave the scene – usually with very high prices, in a printer and ink cartridge model, manja? – for the consumer to choose. The company only works with its own lens and focuses on design and different models of glasses to seduce the consumer. In addition, in stores, instead of attendants wearing lab coats, the objective is to help consumers choose the glasses that best match them, at a more affordable price.

“We train our salespeople to understand the customer’s face, skin tone, to suggest which frames match styles”, adds Rodrigo, noting that today the company already has 80 to 100 different models, all with their own design. The focus on experience was also reflected in the company’s online platform. Zerezes🇧🇷

Incidentally, the company’s e-commerce works through a somewhat peculiar model: the company sends frame models free of charge to the consumer, based on the data placed on the platform. At home, the person can try it on, choose their favorite model, return the box and days later receive the glasses with the requested lens.

Hugo Galindo, Luiz Eduardo Rocha and Rodrigo Latini
Luiz Eduardo Rocha, Hugo Galindo and Rodrigo Latini, the three partners and co-founders of Zerezes (Credit: disclosure).

It is a somewhat costly model from a logistical point of view, but according to the partners, it has been a valuable strategy to build the brand in the points where the Zerezes does not yet have a physical presence. As Rodrigo explains, currently the startup’s sales are 35% digital and 65% physical. “We also invested in multichannel, so a customer can make their first physical purchase, but use their already registered information to buy another model digitally, for example”, he says.

controlled expansion

Speaking of physical expansion, the Zerezes you want to keep your feet firmly on the ground in this plane. In the words of the startup itself, the general plan is to “shorten the path between people and their ideal glasses”, and that goes for both physical and digital. For example, in the North American market, the sale of eyeglasses via online channels is 14 times greater than in Brazil.

Even so, the vision of building a brand passes through physical points, and in markets such as São Paulo, the Zerezes no room for error. “We used digital to create the ‘buzz’ and reached the points of sale in an impressive way, getting to know the local agents and with a differentiated level of experience”, says Luiz Eduardo Rocha, the third co-founder of the company.

To deliver the desired experience, the decision was to give up the franchising plan, something quite common in the eyewear market, and which made the fortune of brands such as Chili Beans, for example. THE Zerezes wants to maintain close control, with high added value stores – the investment in each one is from R$ 300,000 to R$ 500,000.

Even with the high investment, the return has appeared. The first store opened by the company in São Paulo, in the Jardins district, has been registering revenues three times higher than expected, so much so that the company is already planning new stores in the capital of São Paulo, which according to them has the potential to exceed the number of stores in Rio de Janeiro, where the Zerezes has greater presence.

Even with the favorable numbers, Luiz says that the plan is not to be in a hurry. “We don’t want to open in four cities at the same time, but to go hard in one or two at a time”, he explains. Rodrigo adds: “Our focus is to maintain the enchantment with customers, and no franchise model can deliver such quality”, concludes the CEO.

Source: Startups

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