Online eyeglass maker Warby Parker raises $100 million

May 1, 2015 04:17 PM

A $100 million round of funding for eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker is almost as much as what the New York-based company had raised in total—$115 million—since it started five years ago.

Warby Parker, which announced the Series D financing round Thursday, says it will use the funds for innovation and product development, specifically in emerging refraction technology, according to a company statement. The funding round, led by T. Rowe Price, also will drive investment in retail expansion and mobile capabilities, the company said.

“Over the past five years we’ve experienced significant growth. We’ve expanded our team to nearly 500 employees, invested in technology to provide an exceptional customer experience online and off, and increased our retail footprint across the country,” said co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa. “This round of funding will allow us to continue to scale the business while focusing on product and technology innovation. We’re excited about what’s ahead.”

Warby Parker, No. 247 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, launched in 2010 with a plan to sell designer-style eyeglass frames for as little as $95, which is far less than many consumers are used to paying. While it initially sold exclusively online, the retailer has begun opening bricks-and-mortar shops. It now operates 13 stores in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, New Orelans and Dallas.

Warby Parker, which is privately held and does not disclose financial information, had Internet Retailer-estimated sales of $100 million in 2014. The company is one of five finalists in the inaugural Internet Retailer E-Retail Growth Award category. The awards will be presented the evening of June 3 at a gala banquet in Chicago at IRCE 2015, the leading e-commerce conference and exhibition in North America.




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