London-based Lab-grown Diamond startup raises $1.2 Million

Lab-grown Diamond
[Image Courtesy: People, Max Mumby, Indigo, Getty, Kimai]

Kimaï – a London-based Lab-grown diamond startup founded last year in Q4 2018 has recently raised $1.2 million equity funding. A direct-to-consumer high-end jewelry brand, Kimaï uses Lab-grown diamonds and 18k recycled gold.

Co-founded by 26-year old friends Jessica Warch and Sidney Neuhaus, born to diamond trading families, the founder duo of Kimaï observed that the diamond market was opaque and uncertain, plaugued with controversies and old practices.

Sidney saysOur generation represents more than 45% of the global luxury goods market, but the industry is still stuck in their old ways,”

Frustrated by not being able to trace the origin of mined diamonds and considering child labour is still prevalent in many diamond mines in Africa, the founder duo found Lab Grown Diamonds, which are completely same as mined diamonds in all respects sans the ‘environmental or social impact’.

Jessica saysDiamonds are still being marketed to men, fine jewelry stores remain unapproachable and intimidating, and design and quality come with a high price-tag. It’s time for a change.”

Kimaï’s fan list includes Duchess of Sussex – Meghan Markle, actress Emma Watson and Jessica Alba, who have worn the brand’s handcrafted jewelry. The ‘Felicity’ earring worn by Meghan Markle to a charity event caught lot of attention.

The startup also uses a ‘drop model’, wherein new pieces of jewelry are introduced every month with unique designs that are curated, and the pieces are made to order, to service the millennial’s evolving demands and needs.

The seed capital funding round has been led by Talis Capital. Other investors in the startup include fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, Facebook App Head Fidji Simo and French billionaire Xavier Niel. Kimaï plans to use the newly acquired funds to increase awareness about Lab-grown diamonds, grow its customer base, expand its product offerings and build teams in New York and Antwerp, Belgium.

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