Look out EssilorLuxottica (EPA), no longer is Warby Parker (WRBY) the scrappy little upstart trying to prove itself in the eyewear market. The US-based online eyeglasses retailer just went public yesterday, and its had a decent run so far. The company chose a direct-listing route instead of the traditional IPO — which means that it didn’t employ any bankers to reach an opening price and just let the markets do their magic. It seems to have worked out as its shares rose by 36% above the NYSE’s guideline price.
The company reached a $6.8b valuation and its high trading volume shows that investors aren’t daunted by the firm’s unprofitable track record. This story shows that even nearly-monopolized markets like eyewear are up for disruption. It also offers a sense of what lies ahead for local eyewear retailers like UAE-based eyewa, which just closed its latest $21m funding round in June.
why it matters
Its high stock price rally post a direct listing also provides other fast-growing businesses with an alternative listing route — Roblox (RBLX), Spotify (SPOT), and Coinbase (COIN) all recently pursued direct listings.