Lapaire Glasses

Sector of activity: Health
Status: Investissement en capital
Associed fund: I&P Expansion, IPAE 2
Entrepreneur: Jérôme Lapaire, Louis Gascoin
Country: Pan-African
A propos:

Lapaire is a pan-African company specializing in visual health, founded in 2018. It targets a population that was previously excluded from the market for quality optical care by offering services and products at fair and transparent prices through a network of proximity and personalized customer service.


Lapaire operates more than 50 optical agencies across the African continent, employing over 300 people. With the goal of becoming the leading eyewear brand in Africa, Lapaire plans to open additional optical agencies in major cities as well as in peri-urban areas



Graduated from the University of Geneva Law School, Jérôme Lapaire, a Swiss national and lawyer by profession, founded Lapaire Glasses in 2018 with his personal savings and money from friends, after realizing that access to quality eye care was a particularly burdensome problem in Kenya. The cost of an ophthalmological consultation, the time it takes and the price of prescription glasses are often too great a burden for a large proportion of the population.

He is joined in this entrepreneurial adventure by Louis Gascoin, who holds an MBA from EDHEC Business School, specializes in operational excellence and distribution development. Based in Côte d'Ivoire since 2012, he has built up solid professional experience in project development with multinationals such as Servair (owner of the Burger King franchise), where he was General Manager Côte d'Ivoire from 2017 to 2020.


Partnership with I&P

Lapaire Glasses is supported by I&P through the I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE 2) fund, which is joined by AfricInvest in this round of financing. This partnership will help the company :

  • Open 250 additional stores in 3 years, including expansion into 5 new African countries;
  • Strengthen and structure management, operational teams and working capital for this new period of growth;
  • Strengthen the company's IT infrastructure.


Expected impact

  • Extend access to quality corrective eyewear and ophthalmic care to populations excluded from the conventional healthcare system ;
  • Job creation.


Articles to read

⇒ Jérôme Lapaire's portrait on

⇒ Article in How we made it in Africa: "Entrepreneur capitalises on Africa’s demand for affordable eyeglasses"


In portfolio since: 2023

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So Fresh

Sector of activity: Agro-food
Status: Investissement en capital
Associed fund: I&P Expansion, IPAE 2
Entrepreneur: Olagoke Balogun, Abimbola Balogun
Employees: 115
Country: Nigeria
A propos:


So Fresh is Nigeria’s pioneer and market leader in the healthy food Quick Service Restaurant space (serving notably salads, juices, smoothies, sandwiches, parfaits, etc.).

The company was founded in 2010, initially selling whole fruits and vegetables, and later evolved in 2013 with the introduction of healthy meals.

Today, So Fresh operates 15 outlets in Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja), and also offers delivery services to selected communities, through its website and social media channels.


The entrepreneurs

So Fresh was co-founded by Olagoke Balogun ("Goke") and Abimbola Balogun.

Olagoke Balogun is the CEO of So Fresh. He has accumulated a wealth of experience spanning some 20 years across several industries and functions including food & beverage, oil & gas, marketing, sales, production and operations. He is also a graduate of the Stanford SEED program.

Abimbola Balogun studied law and was called to the Nigerian bar in November 2006. She had a 5-year stint as a legal practitioner and now 10 years as an entrepreneur. She is a Human Resource professional, and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM). She is a Goldman Sachs Scholar and has a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management.


Partnership with I&P 

The partnership between SoFresh and I&P, through its fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2, aims to:

• Support with further expansion across Nigeria

• Enhance the ESG impact profile of the business

• Strengthen senior management

• Expand product offerings by introducing prepackaged meals sold through 3rd party vendors

•Support with marketing and brand management


Expected Impacts

• Providing decent direct employment opportunities, especially for women, with each new outlet opened

• Sourcing over 90% of inputs from local suppliers

• Reinforcing the company’ ESG strategy, and notably providing health insurance, transport allowance and housing allowance for all staff

• Providing Nigerians with healthy, quality and fresh meals




In portfolio since: 2022