Warby Parker just raised $60 million in its fourth round of venture capital funding, led by Tiger Global Management.
A representative for the company confirmed to BuzzFeed an earlier report in Fortune about the new round but declined to provide further comment. According to Fortune, the rapidly expanding eyewear business also tapped existing investors such as General Catalyst Partners, Spark Capital, and Thrive Capital, and has now raised a total of $115 million. The company will double the size of its tech team and invest in its retail operations and in customer service, according to the report.
Warby Parker, founded in 2010 by four friends, has been growing quickly since then as its inexpensive, stylish prescription glasses catch on with customers.
By creating its own designs and running a mostly web-based business, Warby has been able to bypass the markups found at traditional eyeglass retailers such as Lenscrafters or Pearle Vision (Warby's glasses start at $95). The company contends on its website that its glasses are "crafted on the same production lines as the $500 frames you see in boutiques" for a fraction of the price.
It's been working on a bigger brick-and-mortar presence outside of its home city of New York, opening showrooms and stores in places like Richmond, Va., Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. The company made headlines in September when retail industry legend Mickey Drexler, the chief executive officer of J.Crew, joined its board, showing how serious the startup is about its physical presence.
The showroom at Warby Parker's headquarters made $3,659 in sales per square foot last year, according to the company's annual report, which would put it on par with the productivity of a Tiffany & Co. It now has more than 250 employees.
Sapna Maheshwari is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Maheshwari reports on retail and e-commerce.
Contact Sapna Maheshwari at email@example.com.
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