Marc Simoncini, Founder and CEO of Meetic, the biggest dating site in Europe worth around $500 million on the Paris stock market, announced over the week-end that he was investing $10+ million into Sensee.com and taking over as CEO.
Sensee.com sells eyewear and has an ambitious goal to cut in half the average bill in the category. That’s certainly an achievable goal as the sector is highly regulated in France, with prices much higher than elsewhere in Europe. Sensee.com includes lentillesmoinscheres.com (“cheaper contact lenses dot com”), which has been thriving by selling contact lenses from countries outside France. This is a market ripe for disruption, and Sensee has a model in GlassesDirect, an online glasses retailer in the UK which has been thriving and is one of our 10 biggest European startups.
Simoncini has been looking for an exit from Meetic, a thriving success but by now a fairly mature business, which must be boring for the restless entrepreneur. He put the site up for sale last year but could not find a buyer at the price he sought. He also set up a venture capital firm, Jaina Capital, with 100 million euros of his own money.
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