Retail

Warby Parker Valued At $1.75B After New Investment

Warby Parker announced it has received a $75 million investment, led by its existing backer T. Rowe Price. This latest funding will allow the company to stay private for the near future.

The investment brings the value of the eight-year-old company to $1.75 billion. Warby Parker last raised a $100 million investment in 2015. The New York-based company has now raised nearly $300 million in total.

Warby Parker Co-Founder and Co-CEO Dave Gilboa told Recode, “Given the rationale for raising this capital is to invest in future products and services, sometimes those investments are easier to make as a private company. And hopefully by the time that we do go public, we’ve proven kind of the value to the business of some of them.”

Gilboa noted that one product the company intends to focus on is its Prescription Check mobile app, which allows certain customers to purchase a new prescription without visiting an eye doctor. The company also plans to open more traditional retail stores.

Founded in 2010, Warby Parker became popular for its $95 prescription eyeglasses that could be ordered online and tried on at home. Three years later, it pioneered the strategy of eCommerce retailers opening brick-and-mortar stores with its first retail store in New York. Today, it has 65 retail shops and there are plans to have nearly 100 locations by the end of this year.

“We think the presentation by retail experts of ‘either [online] or [offline]’ is a false choice,” said Warby Parker Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. “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.”

While Warby Parker doesn’t disclose its revenue or a year-over-year growth rate metric, the company says it will be profitable on an EBITDA basis this year for the first time.

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