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Warby Parker wants you to use your phone for eye exams (update)

Billy Steele
05.01.15
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Warby Parker, the eyewear company that sends you frames to try on before you make a purchase, has some lofty goals for the near future. In addition to plans that'll almost double its current retail footprint, the start-up has tech in the works that will save you a trip to the optometrist for an eye exam. "We think that would increase access to eye exams," co-founder Dave Gilboa told The Wall Street Journal. "It's early in the process but we are excited about the potential." Of course, besides the convenience, it'll also provide an avenue for folks who really need their eyes looked at to get some help at home.

Both the new stores and the software project will get a boost from Warby Parker's recent $1.2 billion valuation, coming on the heels of a funding round that took in $100 million. The company started as a web business that ships a box frames for eager shoppers try on at home before having a pair made with the proper prescription. In 2013, it began opening physical stores, now totaling 12 locations in 9 cities around the US.

Update: A previous version of this article stated that Warby Parker was working on an app for eye exams; however, the company is working on technology to make those possible with a smartphone. The most recent round of funding was $100 million, not $215 -- that's the total raised so far. The text has been updated to correct the inaccuracies.

[Image credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images]

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