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Warby Parker Files for Direct Listing Revealing Revenue Jump

Warby Parker eyewear | Source: Warby Parker

Warby Parker Inc., the eyewear retailer, filed to go public in a direct listing, opening its books for the first time to disclose a 53 percent jump in revenue this year.

The company reported in a filing Tuesday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it had a net loss of $7.3 million on revenue of $271 million in the first six months of the year. That compared with a net loss of $10 million on revenue of $177 million during the same period in 2020.

The filing confirms Warby Parker’s statement in June that it planned a public listing of its stock, language typically used by companies that have bypassed traditional initial public offerings. The company won’t raise any proceeds through the listing, in which investors will be allowed to sell their shares on the open market.

The eyewear maker, which got its start as a digital platform and is expanding its offline footprint, could be valued at $3 billion in the listing, Bloomberg News has reported.

Warby Parker joins a class of direct-to-consumer companies in tapping the capital market as the equity market posted record gains. The public equity market has grabbed the limelight from strategic and financial buyers this year, building a long pipeline of public listing candidates.

The 11-year-old company counts Tiger Global Management, T. Rowe Price, General Catalyst, D1 Capital Partners and Durable Capital among its largest investors, according to its filing. It raised $120 million last August through a Series G funding round, giving it a valuation of $3 billion, according to data provider PitchBook. Warby Parker has raised a total of more than $536 million as a private company.

Shares of the company traded privately in April at $24.53 apiece according to the filing. Before the stock begins trading, the New York Stock Exchange will issue a so-called reference price for the shares, though shares won’t be sold at that price as they would in a traditional IPO.

While banks don’t underwrite shares in a direct listing as they do in an IPO, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. are advising Warby Parker on the listing. The company plans for its shares to trade under the symbol WRBY.

By Crystal Tse and Katie Roof.

Learn more:

Warby Parker Raises Another $75 Million, Declares Profitability on Road to IPO

The disruptive eyewear company is now valued at $1.75 billion, with a public flotation on the horizon.

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