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This article was published on February 25, 2013

    After raising $37M, Warby Parker nabs $4.5M from J. Crew CEO and AmEx with its heart set on retail

    After raising $37M, Warby Parker nabs $4.5M from J. Crew CEO and AmEx with its heart set on retail
    Harrison Weber
    Story by

    Harrison Weber

    Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

    Uber trendy glasses brand Warby Parker has some very exciting news: the ecommerce-driven startup has revealed the close of a $41.5 million series B round, counting the likes of  J. Crew CEO Millard S. Drexler and American Express as investors.

    If this sounds familiar, it’s because Warby had already announced a $37m Series B in September, led by General Catalyst Partners. According to the NY Times, Warby Parker executives “left some room and time for select investors” to join the round.

    Now officially closed as of January, Warby Parker’s Series B has grown by $4.5M, but there’s more news worth examining: J. Crew’s Drexler is now “formally involved” in the company, says Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal. Blumenthal details that Drexler’s involvement came from his interest in Warby’s retail initiatives.

    Interestingly, Warby Parker says it currently isn’t planing to invest in retail partnerships. Instead, Blumenthal tells the NY Times “the emphasis remains on selling directly to consumers.”

    But as Warby Parker becomes less of an ecommerce company and more of a lifestyle brand, it’s not difficult to see the company’s intentions to invest heavily in retail, going solo with Drexler as a key advisor.

    Rumors of a Warby Parker partnership with Google for Google Glass makes this news all the more curious.