Projects and investments

Fielmann Ven­tures serves the eye­wear industry as ven­ture cap­it­al­ist, incub­at­or, accel­er­at­or, stra­tegic part­ner and research unit. We are con­tinu­ously look­ing for stra­tegic part­ners that share our goal of devel­op­ing dis­rupt­ive tech­no­lo­gies that will trans­form our industry. Togeth­er, we will cre­ate a plat­form that will bring bene­fit to con­sumers, health­care pro­fes­sion­als and man­u­fac­tur­ers alike. 

Because of the stra­tegic nature of our work and the agree­ments reached with our part­ners, we can­not dis­close all our activ­it­ies. Below you find some pro­jects and invest­ments that are indic­at­ive of our activ­it­ies.

Investments

As a stra­tegic investor, Fielmann Ven­tures not only offers fin­an­cial sup­port but also stra­tegic guid­ance, access to its inter­na­tion­al sup­ply chain and its omni­chan­nel plat­form. Bene­fits repor­ted by part­ners include the oppor­tun­ity to get qual­i­fied feed­back on min­im­um viable products, vari­ous test setups, access to data (with­in the con­straints of the EU-GDPR and our Data Strategy), extens­ive sales sup­port, net­work and stra­tegic guid­ance. Fielmann Ven­tures is open for invest­ments in all stages. A recent example has been our invest­ment in aug­men­ted real­ity lead­er Fit­ting­Box.

Invest­ments

FittingBox investment, 3D Try-On

Fielmann Ven­tures GmbH announced in Novem­ber 2018 that it has sub­scribed to a cap­it­al increase for a 20% equity own­er­ship stake in Fit­ting­Box S.A., the world lead­er in 3D Try-On solu­tions ded­ic­ated to eye­wear. With 13 pat­ents, Fit­ting­Box is a glob­al lead­er in 3D Try-On and fit­ting tech­no­logy.

Fit­ting­Box provides a 3D Try-On solu­tion in real-time for eye­glasses and sunglasses that is tech­no­lo­gic­ally super­i­or to all rel­ev­ant altern­at­ives. Addi­tion­ally, Fit­ting­Box has built and main­tains the world’s largest data­base of frames pho­tos and 3D mod­els of frames (more than 80,000). With a strong focus on Research and Innov­a­tion, Fit­ting­Box has won numer­ous awards over its 10+ year his­tory. The com­pany is a key com­pon­ent of the digit­al eye­wear plat­form that Fielmann Ven­tures is build­ing togeth­er with its part­ners.

Collaborations & Strategic Partnerships

Some dis­rupt­ive tech­no­lo­gies in our mar­ket could already exist giv­en that some part­ners pool their resources. As com­pan­ies devel­op a more col­lab­or­at­ive approach to digit­al tech­no­lo­gies there lies huge poten­tial in devel­op­ing dis­rupt­ive solu­tions togeth­er. Thus, Fielmann Ven­tures works in sev­er­al col­lab­or­a­tions and stra­tegic part­ner­ships with start-ups and large cor­por­ates. Bene­fits repor­ted by part­ners include mar­ket insight, net­work, access to data (with­in the con­straints of the EU-GDPR and our Data Strategy) as well as new busi­ness mod­els and rev­en­ue sources.

Stra­tegic Part­ner­ship

Millimetre-precise 3D Lens Fitting

It has become evid­ent that accur­ate lens fit­ting is one of the key imped­i­ments to provid­ing pre­scrip­tion eye­wear online without sac­ri­fi­cing qual­ity. Inversely, an online-based mil­li­metre-pre­cise 3D lens fit­ting would have dis­rupt­ive effects on our industry. Appar­ently, 3D face ren­der­ings and 3D frame mod­els as well as intel­li­gent algorithms are the solu­tion to this chal­lenge. Fielmann Ven­tures has developed its own omni­chan­nel lens fit­ting solu­tion for which a pat­ent has been gran­ted and fur­ther ones are in review. Now we are pool­ing our know-how and resources with a large cor­por­ate and a start-up that have rel­ev­ant expert­ise in meas­ure­ment and mesh­ing tech­no­lo­gies. Togeth­er, we will cre­ate a solu­tion that will be an import­ant com­pon­ent in provid­ing Fielmann qual­ity in an omni­chan­nel world of pre­scrip­tion eye­wear.

Own Research & Development

Some tech­no­lo­gies are neither avail­able in the mar­ket, nor is there any­one will­ing to provide know-how for a stra­tegic part­ner­ship. In these instances Fielmann Ven­tures con­ducts its own research and devel­op­ment. Our R&D Team con­sists of spe­cial­ists with expert­ise in optic­al meas­ure­ment, soft­ware devel­op­ment and machine learn­ing. In their work, they draw on sup­port both from sci­ent­ists with­in the Fielmann Group as well as research­ers from lead­ing aca­dem­ic insti­tu­tions and oth­er com­pan­ies. With 14 dir­ectly and indir­ectly held pat­ents and many more pending Fielmann Ven­tures is open to co-pat­ent­ing and pat­ent-shar­ing. Bene­fits repor­ted by research part­ners include mar­ket insight, net­work, access to data (with­in the con­straints of the EU-GDPR and our Data Strategy) and research break­throughs.

Own Research & Devel­op­ment

Online Eye Test

The eye test, con­sist­ing of an object­ive and sub­ject­ive refrac­tion, is the core com­pet­ency of any health­care pro­fes­sion­al work­ing in optic­al retail / opto­metry. A full online eye test that ful­fils leg­al, reg­u­lat­ory and opto­met­ric require­ments is not in sight. Yet it is con­ceiv­able that the object­ive part of the pro­cess con­duc­ted with a so-called auto refract­or can be digit­ised in the near future. Fielmann Ven­tures works closely with R&D depart­ments of oth­er com­pan­ies and with lead­ing sci­ent­ists to cre­ate an auto­mat­ic and device agnost­ic online eye test. Our first pat­ent was sub­mit­ted in Janu­ary 2019. Fur­ther pat­ents will be filed soon.

Own Research & Devel­op­ment

3D Lens Fitting (2013 – 2018)

Since 2013, Fielmann Ven­tures has developed a lens fit­ting tech­no­logy that forms the basis of our stra­tegic part­ner­ship aimed at cre­at­ing a mil­li­metre-pre­cise 3D lens fit­ting. Using rap­id pro­to­typ­ing, agile soft­ware devel­op­ment, meas­ure­ment series at Fielmann Academy Plön Castle and con­tinu­ous feed­back from our test stores, we have developed a state-of-the-art lens fit­ting soft­ware. In 2018, we rolled out this soft­ware in more than 700 stores. Our tab­let-based cent­ring solu­tion allows our opti­cians to be even more pre­cise and faster, thus increas­ing pro­ductiv­ity and improv­ing the cus­tom­er exper­i­ence.