Warby Parker, the optical e-commerce giant, has today announced the close of a $245 million funding round from D1 Capital Partners, Durable Capital Partners, T. Rowe Price and Baillie Gifford.
A source familiar with the company’s finances confirmed to TechCrunch that this brings Warby Parker’s valuation to $3 billion.
The fresh $245 million comes as a combination of a Series F round ($125 million led by Durable Capital Partners in Q2 of this year) and a Series G round ($120 million led by D1 Capital in Q3 of this year). Neither of the two rounds was previously announced.
In the midst of COVID-19, Warby has also pivoted a few facets of its business. For one, the company’s Buy A Pair, Give A Pair program, which has focused on vision services across the globe, pivoted to stopping the spread of COVID-19 in high-risk countries. The company also used their Optical Lab in New York as a distribution center to facilitate the donation of N95 masks to healthcare workers.
The company has also launched a telehealth service for New York customers, allowing them to extend an existing glasses or contacts prescription through a virtual visit with a Warby Parker OD, and expanded its Prescription Check app to new states.
Warby Parker was founded 10 years ago to sell prescription glasses online. At the time, e-commerce was still relatively nascent and the idea of direct-to-consumer glasses was novel, to say the least. By cutting out the cost of physical stores, and competing with an incumbent who had for years enjoyed the luxury of overpricing the product, Warby was able to sell prescription glasses for less than $100/frame.
Of course, it wasn’t as simple as throwing up a few pictures of frames on a website and watching the orders pour in. The company developed a process where customers could order five potential frames to be delivered to their home, try them on, and send them back once they made a selection.
Since, the company has expanded into new product lines, including sunglasses and children’s frames, as well as expanding its footprint with physical stores. In fact, the company has 125 stores across the U.S. and in parts of Canada.
Warby also developed the prescription check app in 2017 to allow users to extend their prescription through a telehealth check up.
In 2019, Warby launched a virtual try-on feature that uses AR to allow customers to see their selected frames on their own face.
The D2C giant, in its 10 years of existence, has balanced its technological innovation with its physical expansion, which could explain its newfound triple-unicorn status. These latest rounds bring Warby Parker’s total funding to $535.5 million.
Source: New feed