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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Warby Parker is set to go public Wednesday via a direct listing. It got a $40 per share reference price, which would value the eyeglasses retailer at nearly $5 billion.

Why it matters: This could be a fraught time for direct listings, as vested employees are getting jumbled guidance from D.C. on how their potential sales would be taxed. But that didn't seem to hurt yesterday's direct listing by Amplitude, the data analytics company whose first-day performance defied the Nasdaq's worst trading session since March.

Details: Warby is a direct-to-consumer pioneer that now generates more sales from its physical retail stores than it does via its digital channels. The company, a certified B Corp, plans to list on the NYSE (WRBY) and reports a $7 million net loss on $271 million in revenue for the first half of 2021.

ROI: It raised over $500 million in VC funding, most recently last summer at a $3 billion valuation, from firms like Tiger Global, T. Rowe Price, General Catalyst, D1 Capital Partners and Durable Capital Partners.

The bottom line: "We believe a direct listing is a more transparent and inclusive process for lots of fans of the brad who in a traditional IPO wouldn't have the option of getting an allocation.. It creates a fair playing field for all," Dave Gilboa, Warby Parker co-founder and CEO, told Axios. ⁠

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 7, 2021 - Economy & Business

Peloton rival postpones its IPO

Source: iFIT Health & Fitness.

iFIT Health & Fitness, a Peloton rival whose brands include NordicTrack, on Thursday postponed its IPO, citing "adverse market conditions."

Reality check: Two other companies, including one in the fitness space, priced IPOs last night and began trading today.

By the numbers: Leaving House

Expand chart
Data: House Press Gallery; Table: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) is the latest House lawmaker to announce he won't seek re-election next year, bringing the total number of Democratic retirements to 13, compared to nine Republicans.

Why it matters: The increasing number of Democratic retirements — put against the backdrop of President Biden's sagging approval ratings and uncertainty about redistricting — is adding to concerns the party may not be able to keep its slim majority in the House.

Ohio sues Biden admin over reversal of Trump-era abortion referral ban

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration Monday over a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals that President Biden overturned earlier this month.

The big picture: The lawsuit aims to reinstate two measures included in the 2019 legislation that required federally funded family planning clinics to be "financially independent of abortion clinics," and refrain from referring patients for abortions.

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