Gemvera has raised $25 million for its online platform selling customized jewelry, which was about “twice as much as we thought we were going to raise,” CEO Matt Lauzon told the Boston Globe.
The oversubscribed round of Series D financing was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with existing investors Highland Capital Partners, Canaan Partners and Balderton Capital also participating.
As part of the deal, Sergio Monsalve of Norwest Venture Partners will join Gemvara’s board.
“Gemvara … happens to be at the epicenter of three e-commerce megatrends that we have been watching closely– the emergence of personalization, the rapid growth of Pinterest as a ‘wishlist’ aggregator and the rising adoption of the iPad as a visual shopping platform,” Monsalve said. “Gemvara is quickly becoming a major player in this rapidly changing next generation e-commerce sector and we’re looking forward to partnering with the team to grow the company further.
Though the company once sold its jewelry through in-store kiosks at partner jewelers, the company has been on-line only since 2010. It specializes in custom-made jewelry. Its 1,500 designs can be customized with 26 different gemstones and eight precious minerals. Shoppers can view a computer generated simulation of the designed item online, which is then handcrafted by jewelers in the US and shipped to the buyer’s home.
“We are redefining the rules of commerce and we’ve proven that people will buy meaningful jewelry online,” Lauzon said in a statement. “This investment accelerates our mission of having more loyal customers than any other jeweler.”
The average order size is $1,000, and pieces often cost between $10,000 and $20,000, Lauzon told AllThingsD. The most expensive item sold on the site cost $85,000. The company has few returns.
The company was founded by Lauzon and Jason Reuben in 2006 while they were undergraduates at Babson College. This latest round brings the company’s funding to $50 million.