Vancouver-based KITS Eyecare goes public on Toronto Stock Exchange

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      A digital eyecare platform has generated gross proceeds of $55 million this morning after listing its shares on Canada's largest stock exchange.

      KITS Eyecare Ltd issued more than 6.4 million common shares priced at $8.50 each. It's trading under the symbol KITS.

      It's hoping to disrupt the US$35.2-billion North American eyewear market by offering such things as "virtual try-on glasses and an integrated online vision test".

      KITS describes itself as a technology, health-care, consumer, manufacturing, and design company.

      "Completing this IPO is a significant milestone for KITS and a testament to the hard work of our entire team," chairman and CEO Roger Hardy said in a news release. "We were encouraged by the strong response to our IPO which is a validation of our platform and strategy and allowed us to upsize our offering. The proceeds raised from this listing place us in a strong financial position for growth and success as we continue to disrupt the fragmented and underserved eyecare market."

      According to the company's January 12 prospectus, Hardy is the second-largest shareholder with 8,487,723 common shares, or 27.4 percent of the total, following the closing.

      That makes him worth $72 million on paper. He's previously founded,, and

      Hardy's salary in 2020 was $129,000 and he collected another $82,500 in share-based awards.

      The most highly compensated employee is chief marketing officer Rob Long, who collected $584,400 last year, including a $240,000 salary.

      He's also the largest stockholder, owning 10,611,766 shares after the closing, or 34.2 percent. That makes Long worth $90.2 million on paper.


      KITS Eyecare closed at $9.07 after its first day of trading on the TSX.