Online jewellery marketplace Joolz raises funding from ah! Ventures and others
An online jewellery marketplace also facilitating jewellery retail, Joolz has raised $500,000 in its pre-Series-A round.
The round was led by ah! Ventures and others like Mahesh Ahuja — CEO, Brittman India; Sri Peddu — MD, Powerhouse Ventures, M&S Partners; Deepak Kasthwal — ex- CFO, Ola Cabs; PKX Thomas ex-Technology Head, Cleartrip; Neha Shah; and an angel round by GSF Accelerator.
The raised funds will be used to boost operations, products, and marketing, and further build up its team. The company also plans to reach a new group of brands and work out new revenue models which will also cater to the offline jewellery industry, currently valued at over $40 billion.
Founded in May 2015 by Arnaud Lorie, Joolz, with a team size of nine, aims to help consumers discover prices and options online and facilitate the offline process of buying jewellery.
Born and brought up in Belgium, Lorie moved to Israel to join the army when he was 18. He then joined his family's diamond certification company and has now been living in India for the past three years. After training in one of the diamond factories in Navsari, Gujarat, for 12 months, he started his new business venture with Joolz. Arnaud says,
Buying jewellery is so closely intertwined with Indian culture that the act of simply selling it online is not going to create any significant impact in the market. We therefore want to be the single biggest facilitator of jewellery commerce, whether online, or more importantly, offline.
The underlying challenge here is that Indian consumers have been buying jewellery in a certain way for decades, and for traditional and larger ticket items, this is not bound to change soon. Currently, the company caters to smaller ticket items ranging between Rs 15,000 and Rs 30,000.
The company claims to have registered sales ranging up to Rs 3 lakh.
The jewellery aggregator curates a high-quality jewellery inventory and lets consumers interact with sellers. It is accessible on Android and iOS platforms, apart from its website.
Commenting on the jewellery market, Harshad Lahoti, Founder and CEO of ah! Ventures, said, “The online jewellery market in India is expected to grow at $3.6 billion over the next three years, which in itself makes the sector a lucrative one to invest in.
The segment is currently dominated by players like Tiger-backed CaratLane, whose majority stake has been acquired by Titan. Bluestone too, recently raised around Rs 200 crore in Series-D funding led by IIFL and Accel, with participation from IvyCap Ventures, Kalaari Capital, and RB Investments.
On the other hand, ah! Ventures has also said that it will be closing two more investments in the next week. The Mumbai-based venture capital firm has over 80 percent of its investors in India, while 20 percent are abroad (across 22 countries like China, UK, Canada, and Switzerland). Of this 20 percent, over 80 percent are NRIs and the rest are foreigners.
Ah! Ventures’ amounts usually vary between $50,000–150,000 , and it has so far invested in over 10,000 startups in the past six years.