This morning, Ello officially closed a deal for $5.5 million in venture capital funding. Normally, this would be alarming — VC money typically indicates an exit strategy, which for social networks usually means ad-mongering and selling user data to the highest bidder. But Ello’s found a way to permanently head those complaints off at the pass.
Right before they received their investment, Ello wrote up a charter that basically reframed their infamous manifesto, only in more clear, specific language. In it, they say that there are three things they will never do: sell their user’s data, run ads on their site, or sell Ello to anyone who would compel them to do either of those things. The charter says:
Warby Parker is one of the hottest ecommerce companies of the past five years, and has been awarded all of the startup buzzwords (disruptive, innovative) for their great user experience and direct to consumer business model. But you can’t be an insurgent company without someone else coming up fast for your number one spot.
Frameri, an online eyewear site that makes glasses with interchangeable lenses, officially launched this morning. They’ve set their sites on the trail blazed by Warby, but claim that their product is actually something new in eyewear, as opposed to being the same old product in a new shape, style, or designer label.
Warby Parker is known for its cheap-but-chic prescription eyewear and youthful, fun projects like its recent collaboration with supermodel Karlie Kloss.
But the company also has a major philanthropic streak. In fact, today they’re celebrating the fact that they’ve donated more than a million pairs of glasses to people in need.
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The future is here for the visually impaired. Google announced today that glasses wearers can finally use the $1,500 face computer by clipping them on to specially made prescription lenses with frames created by the company.
Although Glass hasn’t publicly launched yet, Google is selling the frames to Explorers on its website. They cost an extra $225 and come in four BlackBerry-approved titles, including Bold, Curve, Thin and Split. There are also two tinted lens types, but it doesn’t appear Transitions is included.
Morin needs a Mophie Path founder Dave Morin, he of Gosling Parker Economically conscious walking Internet meme Ryan Gosling was recently spotted looking dashing in his Warby Parker frames. The company humble-bragged about the royal sighting on its Facebook page earlier this week noting that the frame is the “Preston.” We share their exuberance. This is one piece Read More
The “pre-launch” page for new startup called Harry’s features a handsome image of a razor emblazoned with an “H” logo and the slogan, “RESPECTING THE FACE AND WALLET. SINCE LIKE…RIGHT NOW.” Sign up to learn more and you’ll be directed to what looks like a package deal on shaving supplies, including the historically-themed “Truman Handle” and the “Winston Shave Set” How mid-century! But why not just label it the Don Draper special?
According to a source, Harry’s is actually tied up with the marketing experts at Warby Parker. Jen Rubio, head of social media at the eyeglass retailer, shared the site on her Facebook page with the message, “Remember in 2010 when I said Warby Parker was going to be big? This is kinda like that.”
Your Name Here A Silicon Valley source had the pleasure of dining near Path cofounder Dave Morin and his wife, Brit.co founder Brit Morin recently. Mr. Morin spoke about the future of Path while Ms. Morin, a DIY enthusiast, used crayons provide by the restaurant to doodle on the paper table cloth, said the source. There were rainbows, flowers and balloons, but our favorite was a drawing of the Brit.co logo, with “Morin” written underneath and an arrow pointed towards Ms. Morin (just in case the restaurant staff didn’t recognize her). That’s one way to disrupt advertising, we suppose. Our tipster was kind enough to snap a pic on their way out.
Happy Internet, Mr. President Twice this week in conversation with tech types, Betabeat was asked when Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian was running for office already. The 29-year-old credited with helping to defeat SOPA/PIPA already toured the country (in a bus once leased for John McCain’s “Straight Talk Express”) running for president of the Internet. But with Sheryl Sandberg hot on his heels, isn’t it time to start campaigning for the real thing?
Google Glass certainly isn’t lacking in the whiz-bang factor. The gadget was publicly introduced with a skydiving stunt; just yesterday, the company released a video from the point of view of a user, demonstrating how seamlessly the spectacles can capture your exciting life of hot-air ballooning and snake charming.
But now comes the hard part: Getting normals to want the damn things. Unlike many software developers and/or Betabeat reporters, most of America isn’t likely to be sold on the pitch that hey, it’s just like what Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge wore on Star Trek TNG!
Hence, step one is to make the things a little sleeker. The New York Times reports today that sources say, as part of a stab at style, Google is currently in negotiations with Warby Parker to get some design help with the project. If the company plans to start selling Glass to the wider world later this year, such a partnership would come not a moment too soon.
Making passes at girls in glasses Can hip glasses startup Warby Parker make a love connection? One Warby Parker employee who helped a man pick out his glasses seems to have also run away with his heart. The dude did what all millennials do when they see an attractive girl, and posted a Missed Connection about her on Craigslist:
Rose-Colored Glasses Warby Parker just released its annual report for 2012, and it’s a pretty fun slideshow to click through. The glasses empire now has 113 full-time employes and 42 part-time employees. Of those bespectacled folks, 108 have company-sponsored gym memberships. In other Warby Parker health news, 2,507 pounds of salad were eaten in the office this year. Although there are not too many exact sales figures in the package (besides the fact that 296 monocles were sold this year) a diagram on the last page shows that sales from the first quarter of the year to the last one have nearly tripled. Warby Parker says it gave out 250,000 pairs of glasses this year, some of which went to victims of Hurricane Sandy.