LEXINGTON, Mass., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Gemvara, Inc., the online retailer of customer-designed fine jewelry, today announces the closing of a $15 million round of Series C funding led by Balderton Capital, one of Europe's largest venture capital firms, with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners. Balderton's Mark Evans will join Gemvara's Board of Directors. Gemvara plans to use the capital to further enhance its jewelry shopping experience, expand the breadth of merchandise featured on its platform and continue providing highly personalized customer service.
"We were inspired by Matt Lauzon's far-reaching vision of future e-commerce, and his team's deliberate execution to date," said Mark Evans, Partner at Balderton Capital. "We believe that Gemvara can become the world's first billion-dollar user-generated product company."
"The Balderton team immediately recognized that we've only begun to scratch the surface of what our platform can do to fundamentally change the way products are bought and sold," said Matt Lauzon, CEO and Founder of Gemvara. "We're growing at a fast rate and building a team that is re-defining the rules in e-commerce. This additional capital will enable Gemvara to drive innovation that will bring the jewelry industry to the cutting edge of commerce and deliver a dramatically better experience for our customers."
Gemvara is an online retailer of fine jewelry that offers a virtually unlimited selection of designs through its unique technology platform. More than 1,500 original designs can be customized by the shopper - he/she can mix-and-match from 26 gemstones and 8 precious metals - resulting in millions of design possibilities for gemstone engagement rings, mens rings, initial necklaces, stackable rings and more. Each piece is handcrafted in the U.S. using just-in-time manufacturing to produce every piece, made-to-order.
About Balderton Capital
Balderton Capital is one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe. Based in London, Balderton manages $1.9 billion in committed venture capital, and has invested in over 100 companies, principally in Europe but also in the US and Asia.
Balderton focuses on the technology sector and notable investments include bebo (acquired by AOL for $850m), Betfair (floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 2010), LOVEFiLM (the leading European home entertainment subscription service, fully acquired by Amazon in January 2011), MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion), ScanSafe (acquired by Cisco for $183m) and YOOX Group (the online retailer of leading fashion brands, listed in December 2009 and recently valued at more than $650m).
Gemvara is Balderton's second recent investment in Boston's technology community. In January 2011, the firm also led a $15m investment round in SCVNGR, the location-based mobile game headquartered in Boston.
SOURCE Gemvara, Inc.