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Warby Parker Raises $100 Million, Eyes Brick-And-Mortar Expansion

Disruptive eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker has raised another $100 million in funding, bringing the company’s total valuation to $1.2 billion.

T. Rowe Price led the latest funding round, which is intended to help Warby Parker expand its brick-and-mortar presence to 20 locations nationwide, according to TechCrunch. Currently, the brand has 12 locations in nine U.S. states. Wellington Management, Tiger Global and General Catalyst also contributed to the round.

In a statement, Co-Founder and Co-CEO Dave Gildboa said that this round of funding “will allow us to continue to scale the business while focusing on product and technology innovation. We’re excited about what’s ahead.”

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Over the past five years, Warby Parker has become a frontrunner among the eTailers that have ventured to brick-and-mortar. In addition to experimenting with mobile pop-ups and showrooms, Warby Parker focuses on turning its branded locations into immersive experiences.

Warby Parker plans to use a portion of the funding to test and implement new technology to further enhance the in-store experience, according to Gilboa. For one, the company is investing in technology that allows shoppers to conduct eye exams using their smartphones.

“We think that would increase access to eye exams,” Gilboa said. “It’s early in the process but we are excited about the potential.”

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