Gemvara Gets $25M More, Goes Big in Online Jewelry
Gemvara continues to raise more venture capital in its quest to become the world’s preeminent jeweler. The Boston-based Web company said today it has raised a $25 million Series D round led by Norwest Venture Partners. Previous investors Highland Capital Partners, Canaan Partners, and Balderton Capital also participated in the round, which brings Gemvara’s total funding to around $50 million.
That’s a lot of money for an Internet startup (especially in these parts), but Gemvara has a pretty big vision—to transform the process and business of buying jewelry by making it completely customizable and personalizable (if that’s a word). Now the company would seem to have the resources it needs to bring its made-to-order online jewelry platform to the masses. Of course, the latest deal also raises the ante on any potential exit for its investors, but that’s to be sorted out down the road.
We’ve been writing about the company since it was called Paragon Lake (it started in 2006-2007). Its CEO and co-founder, Matt Lauzon, is one of the more compelling and colorful characters in the Boston startup scene.
Lauzon told me earlier this year that he and his team think very carefully about how to balance the emotional and rational sides of the whole customer shopping experience online. (His heroes include Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com and Tony Hsieh of Zappos—not too shabby.) One thing Lauzon said about the customer experience at Gemvara stood out to me: “It’s not a transaction, it’s a relationship,” he said.