Jewellery e-tailer BlueStone raises $10M led by Kalaari Capital
BlueStone, an online jewellery store run by Bangalore-based Jewels Online Distribution India Pvt Ltd, has secured $10 million led by Kalaari Capital while the existing investors Accel Partners and Saama Capital have also participated.
"A significant portion of the funds would be appropriated towards marketing and establishing BlueStone as the leading online jewellery store in two years," said Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, co-founder and CEO of BlueStone.com which is looking at doubling its revenue run rate in 2014-2015.
"BlueStone has built a unique manufacturing model through 'made to order' manufacturing which enhances the growth of the business. The unique features offered by BlueStone.com make it a compelling value proposition for the customer. We are looking forward to our partnership with BlueStone.com to build it as a market leader in the online jewellery segment," said Vani Kola, managing director at Kalaari Capital.
The firm was founded by Vidya Nataraj and Gaurav Singh Kushwaha in mid-2011. Before co-founding the e-commerce initiative, Nataraj was a senior strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in India. She also grew her family business Landmark Ltd, one of India's largest lifestyle retail chains selling books and music, before its acquisition by TATA Trent. Kushwaha is a graduate in Computer Science from IIT Delhi and has around 10 years of experience in technology, e-commerce and internet marketing. Before starting BlueStone, he served as CEO of Chakpak, an online entertainment portal which he had co-founded in 2007. Kushwaha started his career with Tavant Technologies, a global IT services & solutions provider, and subsequently worked with Amazon for around four years.
BlueStone offers a range of jewellery under five categories, including earrings, rings, pendants, bangles and bracelets. Various filters—such as gold purity, stones, occasion and stone colour—have been provided to help buyers select the right kind of jewellery. The firm, which used to source the merchandise from third-party manufacturers, has now started manufacturing on its own. The startup is also planning to go offline by setting up a physical store soon.
BlueStone recently launched a 'Wedding Bespoke' service, which allows end users to design and customise their wedding jewellery. A stylist from BlueStone exclusively designs the complete collection of jewellery matching the wedding trousseau. The website also has a live chat feature, where visitors can directly get in touch with experts for their design needs and queries. BlueStone is mainly competing with Tiger Global-backed CaratLane.
In January 2012, BlueStone raised $5 million from Accel Partners, Silicon Valley Bank and K Ganesh, co-founder of TutorVista Global (which is now under the UK-based Pearson Group).
This is Kalaari Capital's second investment in this year. Last month, it participated with eBay and other investors in a $133.77 million funding round in online marketplace Snapdeal.com.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)