Warby Parker Files to Go Public

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Warby Parker filing to public on the New York Stock Exchange via direct listing, under ticker symbol WRBY. When it begins trading, the eyewear maker will become the poster child for a class of ambitious direct-to-consumer brands that gained scale though online marketing and payment systems, but have yet to grow dominant.

The company had been on a steady march to profitability before the pandemic upended global retail. I spoke to the founders in December 2019, as they plotted a disciplined expansion. (See below.) Covid-19 blurred those plans, forcing the company to temporarily close physical stores and furlough workers.

My question now is whether DTC specialists like Warby Parker will be able to outpace their traditional counterparts in an economic recovery. The company boasts $487 million in net revenue, 33% net revenue growth and more than 2 million active customers. We’re about to see whether the direct-to-consumer model is mainly good for helping brands to a fast start, or if it can fuel continued outperformance.

Coming up today on CNBC’s TechCheck, 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT …

Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson

While you were sleeping …

Following a couple of big leaks, Fitbit is officially announcing the Charge 5, the company’s latest fitness tracker, and it marks one of the biggest design changes to the popular Charge family since the first Charge HR, which came out in 2015. The Charge 5 shaves down the hard angles that have defined the Charge trackers for a more rounded look, and more significantly, it’s the first Charge with a color AMOLED display. The Verge

Despite pledges to crack down on hatred, TikTok is still trafficking in short-form videos that promote white supremacy and anti-Black racism, according to a new study from the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue. USA Today

In the broader world …

After rising for three weeks, mortgage rates came back down a bit last week, but it didn’t seem to have much effect on mortgage demand. CNBC

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