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47. Warby Parker

Better vision

Founders: Neil Blumenthal (co-CEO), Dave Gilboa (co-CEO), Jeff Raider, Andy Hunt
Launched: 2010
Funding: $215 million
Valuation: $1.2 billion (PitchBook)
Disrupting:
Eyeglass retailers, e-commerce
Rival: Luxottica

George Kavallines

Warby Parker's business model is pretty straightforward. The company designs all its glasses in-house, sells direct to consumers to avoid markups (a pair starts as low as $95) and offers free at-home, try-on services for its frames. To make good on its promise to help those less fortunate, it donates enough money every month to its nonprofit partners to provide a pair of glasses for every pair it sells.

Read More FULL LIST: 2017 DISRUPTOR 50

According to the company, nearly 1 billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, meaning they can't effectively learn or work. By providing a pair of glasses for every one it sells — Warby Parker has distributed more than 2 million pairs to date — the company can help dramatically improve lives around the world. Research from VisionSpring and the World Health Organization states that improved vision from a pair of prescription glasses can increase productivity by 35 percent and monthly income by 20 percent.

The New York City-based company — started by former Wharton Business School classmates Jeffrey Raider, David Gilboa, Andrew Hunt and Neil Blumenthal — is doing well with its "do good" business model. Since its founding, Warby Parker has raised more than $200 million from venture firms, including T. Rowe Price, Tiger Global Management and General Catalyst. Analysts estimate that the company's annual revenue is more than $100 million.

Company watchers have been predicting that a Warby Parker IPO is imminent for the past several years, but so far the company has chosen to remain private.

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