At a time when bank financing is drying up for the diamond industry leading to difficult times, innovative technology-driven jewelry startups are raising equity capital to propel to next stage.
Indian Jewelry startup Melorra raises $ 12 Million
Bengaluru-based jewelry startup brand Melorra has raised $ 12 Million in a funding round by Venture Capital (VC) firms and others. Founded in 2016, Melorra combines technology and ever-changing fashion trends to deliver exclusive jewelry products to its customers.
The jewelry ecommerce firm recorded 400 percent YoY growth in 2019 and its revenue is expected to grow 5X in 2020. Founded by Saroja Yeramilli, Melorra has been featured in Entrepreneur India’s ‘Top 50 Start-ups to Watch Out for in 2019’ list and targets millennial women by providing all-season fine jewelry, filling the gap of everyday wardrobe jewelry.
This funding round was participated by Lightbox Ventures, BlackSoil Capital, family offices of Ravi Sheth, Great Eastern Shipping Company; Burmans of Dabur; Rainmaker Ventures and Jeejeebhoy. The funds are planned to be utilized for enhancing technological infrastructure, brand visibility and augmenting talent. When launched in 2016, within a week of operations, Melorra had raised $ 5 Million from Lightbox Ventures, with just an idea.
Blockchain Tech firm Everledger raises $ 20 Million
London-based blockchain startup Everledger, which is developing and maintaining a blockchain-based immutable ledger for asset ownership to make supply chains more sustainable recently raised $ 20 Million in a Series A round led by Tencent, with participation from Graphene Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Rakuten, Fidelity and Vickers Venture Partners.
Everledger had entered China with launch of a WeChat based App for Blockchain-enabled diamonds. The technology has the potential to track diamonds right from the source of origin – mines or labs to the hands of consumers and beyond, helping address the persistent issue conflict diamonds, if successful. In March 2018, the company had raised $ 10 Million, bringing the company’s total funding till date at $ 30.4 Million.
Everledger’s secure platform helps in producing a record of asset’s lifetime journery. The company creates digital representations of diamonds capturing not only the inscribed serial numbers on stones but over 40 metadata point including cut, clarity etc. for traceability.
Fred Myer Jewelers – a US-based retailer and Lab-grown diamond brand Brilliant Earth have started to use Everledger’s blockchain tech for provenance. Even China’s Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group and GIA (Gemological Institute of America) are using the same tech to provide diamond grading reports to customers.