Livemint: January 08, 2016
New Delhi: Melorra, an online jewellery brand, has raised $5 million from venture capital firm Lightbox Ventures, a top company executive said on Friday.
Melorra, run by August Jewellery Pvt. Ltd, is currently available only on iOS and is expected to roll out an Android app by the end of this month. The Bengaluru-based start-up, which managed to raise its first round of capital in stealth mode, is expected to launch its online portal by March.
The company will be using the funds to attract talent, build its brand and enhance its technology platform, said Saroja Yeramilli, co-founder and chief executive at Melorra.
“Our vision is to develop a brand for the millennial generation. The precious and high-end jewellery market has not changed at all in years. The designs are not relevant for a modern woman’s wardrobe,” said Yeramilli, who has over two decades’ experience in organized retail, having worked with brands such as Titan, Kaya and Dell.
Yeramilli said 80% of an urban Indian woman’s wardrobe is western attire and Melorra wants to cater to that segment. Though the company is at present focusing on building an online brand, it won’t shy away from having offline presence if required in future. “We will be there where the young Indian women are,” said Yeramilli.
According to the company, the fine jewellery market is currently pegged at about $8-10 billion. The Indian jewellery market is estimated to be over $60 billion and is the third largest in the world.
“Jewellery largely has been traditional and the industry has not evolved with the evolving woman’s fashion in the country. Melorra is looking to change that,” said Siddharth Talwar, co-founder and partner at Lightbox Ventures. “The problem with offline brands is distribution and for online brands distribution is a headache; Melorra is trying to solve that problem with technology. Also offline brands have not been able to do something on low-price points,” Talwar added.
This is Lightbox’s first seed investment in any start-up. It is a $100 million fund largely focused around early-stage consumer technology businesses. The firm has invested in companies such as food start-up Faasos, online marketplace for automobiles Droom and furniture rental firm Furlenco.
Melorra, founded by Yeramilli and R. Krishnakumar, is targeting women in the 18-40 age group and will offer diamond, coloured stone, gold and fine jewellery with an average selling price of Rs.16,000.
The company has in-house designers based in India, the US and the UK. Production takes place in India. Melorra, which has tied up with Sequel Logistics for delivering its products, has two warehouses in Jaipur and Mumbai. The company has 40 employees and is building its team.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.