Luxury jewelers raise funds to expand business

[Image courtesy - Sell Gold Chula Vista]

Number of investment options has opened horizons for the ever growing luxury jewelry industry to expand their network and offer value added products. Previously, jewelers like James Allen and Kalyan Jewelers have raised funds to invest in giving customers a better buying experience and expand and open new stores.

Aurum Holdings to buy Birks Group’s US-based Mayors Jewelers

Birks Group, a Canadian jeweler, has finalised a deal with British holding company Aurum Holdings. The Canadian jeweler, who is also the designer and manufacturer of jewelry that it retails, will be selling its US subsidiary Mayors Jewelers to Aurum Holdings for USD 104.6 million.

The deal consists of Birks entering into a 5 year distribution agreement, where Aurum would sell Birks fine jewelry in UK through Aurum’s retailers – Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and on its e-commerce sites. Also, Mayors’ stores will continue to sell Bricks collection in US. The agreement holds importance in a way that it would help develop Birks into a global luxury brand.

The transactions from the deal would help the jeweler for their “strategic growth initiatives” and more importantly focus on its Canadian stores and new store concepts, along with other activities and e-commerce plans. It would also be used to pay off all their outstanding debts.

Brain Duffy, president of Aurum said, “We have admired Mayors for some time and see a great deal of similarities with how we operate our business in the U.K. Mayors. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at Mayors and we are confident that together we will continue to develop the business in a positive way.”

AUrate raises USD 2.63 million in a seed funding round

AUrate is a Manhattan-based jewelry startup, founded in 2014 by Sophie Kahn and Bouchara Ezzahraoui. Sophie, before starting AUrate worked at Marc Jacobs and Bouchara at Goldman Sachs as an interest rate volatility trader. They met at Princeton while pursuing masters in finance in 2009.

They spent the initial years setting up the company, taking design classes, laying groundwork for their business and running a test year by finding out answers to questions like – would people buy their jewelry & could they run a successful pop-up show.

The key to getting the seed fund was being bootstrapped. They started the company with some of their savings and with a little help from friends and family. Having budgeted through the self-funding they have reached their revenue target and were able to show their capabilities to potential investors.

After Ezzahraoui left her job at Goldman in March, AUrate looked for funding. Stating the reason Ezzahraoui said, “Any early stage investors, when they look at a company, look at the product and the team. We checked the boxes for product and for team, so it was easier to pitch people once we were both full-time.”

AUrate plans to utilise the raised USD 2.63 million to open more brick and mortar stores and establish their brand.

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