Gemvara Raises $15 Million for "User-Generated" Jewelry Making

Gemvara, which sells jewelry online that’s designed by the customer and shipped to their home, has closed a $15 million round of capital.

The third round of capital was led by Balderton Capital, with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners. Previously, Gemvara raised roughly $10 million in capital.

The company said it plans to use the cash to expand its merchandise selection and to provide better customer service.

In the release, Mark Evans, a partner at Balderton Capital, made the bold statement that he believes Gemvara can become the world’s first billion-dollar user-generated product company.

Needless to say, the company declined to comment on its current revenues. Still, Gemvara’s CEO and Founder Matt Lauzon said the company is growing at a fast rate.

Gemvara, which has 40 employees, launched a year ago in February. Headquartered in Lexington, MA, the company said its average order size is close to $1,000.

What’s unusual is that the company has virtually no inventory of finished products because everything is custom made. The customer picks the metals and stones or gems of their choice, which is then illustrated in photo-like quality renderings. The jewelry is hand-made in the U.S., and shipped within three weeks of being ordered.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work