Warby Parker, the online eyewear retailer, went public via a direct listing yesterday, and its stock surged 35% to $54 a share, giving the company a market value of about $6 billion, more than double its valuation in a private round in April.
Warby Parker was founded in 2010 by four Wharton classmates and started by selling glasses for $100 a pair. Customers would receive several frames to try on, picked the one they liked best, then gave the company their prescription to get eyewear made.
Originally a digital-first platform focused on direct-to-consumer sales, Warby Parker has since expanded to have more than 100 physical locations, with plans to open more than three dozen this year.
The company is still not profitable and lost $7.3 million on $271 million of revenues in the first six months of 2021 (although a 53% YoY jump in revenue).
As you can imagine, Warby Parker has an impressive cap table, with big names such as Tiger Global Management, T. Rowe Price, General Catalyst and D1 Capital Partners.
Short Squeez Takeaway: Although Warby Parker is not profitable, there is a strong bull case here with more people than ever being glued to their screens (about 75% of adults in the US use some form of vision correction). Warby Parker is well liked by their customer base shown by strong retention rates. They have also done a great job marketing themselves and their ESG efforts e.g. giving away a pair to someone in need for every pair sold, have resonated well with its younger core demographic.