Warby Parker Has A $75 Million Fundraising Vision

Warby Parker is reportedly seeking $75 million in Series E funding. The company discussed the plans in a Wednesday (March 7) filing with the state of Delaware signed by CEO Neil Blumenthal and given to Cheddar by Lagniappe Labs, Cheddar reported.

In 2015, the company raised $100 million in Series D funding for a $1.2 billion valuation. But the company is reportedly looking for a higher share price for this funding round. As a result, the latest funding round could lead to a higher valuation. Overall, Warby has notched $216 million in funding since the company began.

Last year, the eyeglass store opened a $16 million optical lab and began selling products to a new market — kids. In addition, the retailer is expanding its brick-and-mortar portfolio and is aiming to have approximately 100 stores in the U.S. by the end of 2018, CNBC reported.

Warby Parker currently has 64 stores in markets the retailer carefully chose. The company has also experimented with pop-up stores, mobile stores and other mediums.

“We think the presentation by retail experts of ‘either [online] or [offline]’ is a false choice,” Blumenthal told CNBC. “It really is the intersection of the two … and we are trying to approach retail expansion in a very deliberate manner, where we are testing and learning.”

Although Warby Parker was founded online in 2010, the retailer pioneered the strategy of eCommerce retailers opening brick-and-mortar stores. In 2013, it opened the doors of its first retail store in New York to meet customer demand for a place to try on their glasses.

In the future, Blumenthal said the company could have 800 to 1,000 physical stores, while another eCommerce retailer, Bonobos, plans to have 100 stores by 2020.

“As new companies grow, they start to look more like the incumbents,” Blumenthal said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal at an event in New York hosted by consulting firm A.T. Kearney.


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