Warby Parker announced last week that it has completed a Series E funding round of $75 million, which was led by the investment firm T. Rowe Price, according to reporting by VMAIL.
In addition, Warby Parker said in a statement that it is “profitable,” while executives told The New York Times that 2018 will be the company’s first year of turning a profit. Prior to this funding round, Warby Parker had raised $215 million. Earlier this year, Warby Parker executives said the company plans to have nearly 100 stores across the U.S. by the end of this year, as VMAIL reported.
In its announcement, Warby Parker said it plans to use the financing to “continue to invest in the future. The capital will go toward R&D and technology that will help the company better serve customers and continue to transform the optical industry in the years to come.” Co-founder and co-chief executive officer Neil Blumenthal said, “We’re working to build one of the world’s most impactful brands, and we’ve always taken a long-term view.”
The new financing also enables Warby Parker to build “deeper relationships with long-term shareholders. We’re excited to continue to focus on new technology and innovation, including the development of telemedicine services and other products and services that make it easier and more affordable for our customers to access high-quality, stylish eyewear,” co-founder and co-chief executive officer Dave Gilboa, said in the announcement.
Warby Parker also noted that Youngme Moon, a Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (HBS), is joining its board of directors. Moon is an expert in innovation and brand strategy with a particular focus on Millennials and the digital economy, Warby Parker said. At HBS, professor Moon has held numerous leadership positions, including senior associate dean for strategy and innovation and senior associate dean of the MBA program.
Eight years old, Warby Parker now has more than 1,400 employees and 65 retail locations, according to the announcement. Through the company’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, Warby Parker has distributed glasses to millions of people in need worldwide.