Warby Parker's capitalization reached $6 billion on the first day of trading.
New York-based online retailer Warby Parker, specializing in the sale of frames and sunglasses, debuted on the stock exchange. The company's stock soared more than 30%, from $40 to $54. Back in April, the securities were valued in private transactions at $24.5.
The capitalization of Warby Parker after the first day of trading reached $6 billion. Investors were optimistic about another retail player who successfully organized online sales and connected them to traditional distribution channels.
Warby Parker joined Spotify, Roblox, and Coinbase, which opted for a direct listing of initial public offerings without raising new capital from banks. Thus, bidding began at a price set in negotiations between business owners and public investors.
Warby Parker was founded in 2010 and initially specialized in delivering eyeglasses orders that customers could try on at home. Later, the business expanded, and the retailer had its stores. In 2019, the company also developed its line of contact lenses.
"We have less than 1 percent share of this huge market and see excellent prospects for continued growth in the coming years," commented Dave Gilboa, co-founder, and CEO, noting the high growth potential in both the online and retail environments.
CNBC writes that Warby Parker has also been increasing its losses along with revenue growth in recent years. So, while two years ago the company first went into profit, in 2020, it was again a loss of $56 million. The retailer's revenue reached $394 million compared to $370.5 million a year earlier. 95% of revenue came from eyewear, 2% from contact lenses, 1% from eye tests, and 2% from accessories. Warby Parker forecasts growth to $537 million in 2021 and another 25% in 2022.