AUrate, a New York-based Direct-to-Consumers (D2C) start-up that deals in selling fine gold jewelry has recently received a Series A funding of $13 million, the largest funding in the fine jewellery category. Co-founded by Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn, AUrate was officially launched in 2017 on both, online platform and offline stores in New York and Washington D C. Michael Platt‘s Bluecrest Capital along with the participation from investors like Point King Capital, Arab Angel Fund and Drake Management, led this funding round.
After raising seed investment of $2.6 million in 2017, the company’s online revenue has been increasing consistently by 400% every year. With the recent investment in place, the jewelry company is eyeing to scale global. Currently operating only in US, AUrate is planning to move into European and Middle East markets in first phase, as the founders Bouchra and Sophie are of Moroccan and Dutch origins respectively, which helps them to understand the local markets and connect with locals. Post which, the company will take a plunge for a more challenging international market such as China. Currently, AUrate has two stores at New York and one store is under construction in Washington D.C. Despite being US based, 10% of their revenue comes from overseas consumers which is why the company plans on expanding to markets outside US.
Their brick-and-mortar retail business has been doubling as well. In terms of loyalty, 40% of the company’s customers return to the store for further purchasing, where 90% of them comprises of females.
AUrate’s prices range from $50 to $3000 but the goal they have set is what Bouchra terms “this new market sweet spot” of $300-500. While that is not cheap but consumers are getting a chance to buy real gold jewellery at that price, which would normally be sold at $1,200 or higher.
Most of AUrate’s success can be attributed to their attractive yet affordable jewelry design and forward-thinking business ideas like ‘Curate’ where the customers can try on five recommended pieces at home with no commitments whatsoever. Such features can help them stay ahead in the race.