Online fine-jewelry site AUrate has secured $2.6 million in seed financing.
The New York-based company sells ethically sourced fine jewelry. Participants in the seed round include Arab Angel Fund, Victress Capital and other angel investors who requested anonymity.
The company said it will use the financing to add about 25 employees to its team, as well as expand its physical presence on the East and West coasts over the next 12 months. There is already a store in New York on Madison Avenue. Plans for new stores over the next year include one in SoHo and another in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y., as well as one in Los Angeles.
Founded in 2015, the fine-jewelry firm was started by cofounders Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui.
Price points typically range between $80 and $800.
Omar Darwazah, general partner at Arab Angel Fund, said, “Laser-focused on user experience, the company’s direct-to-consumer model is helping ‘democratize’ the gold jewelry market and is already disrupting the traditional model for the luxury category.” The company’s “impact purchasing” strategy places it in the same tier as Casper and Warby Parker, but for fine jewelry. Arab Angel Fund is also an investor in the Tamara Mellon brand and in Stowaway Cosmetics.
Lori Cashman, partner at Victress Capital, said, “We look for strong, tenacious and driven female founders — Bouchra and Sophie are all of these and they are extremely intelligent with complementary skill sets; we were able to check that box in the first 60 seconds of meeting them.” The VC firm has invested in Daily Harvest, The Nue Co. and BioMetrix. And its founders have either invested in or worked at Kate Spade, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Nicole Miller.