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How many cars has Carmax sold this week compared to the same week last year?

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Warby Parker's alternative data looks good on the spectacles e-retailer

3 months ago by Jon Marino in Facts, Trends

With nearly $300 million in funding from investors like Thrive Capital, First Round Capital and Tiger Global, Warby Parker ($WARBYPARKER) alternative data reflects a disruptive company still growing - and that is something that could be very appealing to IPO investors right now. 

The company, whose founders drew on Jack Kerouac for inspiration in naming the ESG-friendly online eyewear company, has grown headcount, locations and job postings in recent months. In an IPO market friendly to "all things not ridesharing," Warby Parker looks like a winner. 

Expansion Mode

In a recent interview, Warby Parker co-founders and co-CEOs David Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal said the company has expanded to more than 90 physical locations, on top of the websites that helped drive Warby Parker to a $1.7 billion private market valuation - which matches our data. Now, our data reflects that Warby Parker has picked up the pace on hiring too.

Our first two charts show Warby Parker is posting more jobs online, and that the number of employees who list the company as their pace of employment have both shot to all-time highs. 

Growing Attention

Warby Parker's Facebook Were Here Count is upand still rising, which is always a positive sign for an e-tailer that's become a retailer. 

The company's social mission of providing a free pair of glasses for every one it sells has resonated with consumers - and the company has given away more than 5 million free pairs of glasses over the years, according to the company. Eyewear was effectively un-disrupted by a direct-to-consumer business model on the web before Warby entered the fray, and today there are plenty of knock-off brands trying to emulate its business, without the social good attached.

At a time when investors like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink are calling on contemporaries and ordinary investors to employ an ESG-centric strategy, what Warby gives away for free could help it gain traction with public market investors (if it ever pursues an IPO) as nicely as all of its alternative data currently does. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

Join the businesses who have begun to edge out competitors by scouring the web for alternative data.

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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