Funding

Warby Parker Joins Billion-Dollar Valuation Club After Latest $100 Million Funding Round

Warby Parker Joins Billion-Dollar Valuation Club After Latest $100 Million Funding Round
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Warby Parker is seeing dollar signs. The five-year-old startup just closed a $100 million funding round -- its Series D -- in a deal that values the glasses maker at $1.2 billion.

The company plans to use the money to expand its fleet of retail stores from a total of 12 to 20 by year’s end, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the funding round. After opening its first storefront to complement its ecommerce business in 2013, physical retail now accounts for half of the company’s 500 employees.

Dave Gilboa, Warby’s co-founder and co-chief executive, also told the Journal that the company is investing in new technology that could provide eye exams on mobile phones.

Related: Navdy, the 'Google Glass for Your Car,' Raises $20 Million

The funding round was led by T. Rowe Price and also included Wellington Management, alongside previous investors Tiger Global and General Catalyst.

Warby Parker is not profitable, Gilboa said, but annual sales are on the upswing. "There is no rush to go public,” he added. “We have a very healthy balance sheet at this point that gives us a lot of flexibility.”

The latest round catapults Warby Parker into the billion-dollar valuation club, making it one of a handful of venture-backed online retail startups to cross that threshold, according to the Journal -- second only in value to the $3.1 billion sports merchandise site Fanatics

Related: Do Good or Make Money? Why It's Not Even a Question.

Edition: December 2016

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