- Direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand Kimaï announced it raised $1.2 million in seed funding
Kimaï is a direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand using lab-grown diamonds and recycled gold that is aiming to bring transparency, innovation, and inclusivity to a consciously-minded generation of consumers.
“Diamonds are still being marketed to men, fine jewelry stores remain unapproachable and intimidating, and design and quality come with a high price tag,” said Kimaï co-founder Jessica Warch. “It’s time for a change.”
Recently, Kimaï announced it raised $1.2 million in seed funding led by Talis Capital. The investors in this round also include fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, the Head of the Facebook App, Fidji Simo, and billionaire businessman Xavier Niel. And the early adopters of Kimaï products include The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, Emma Watson, and Jessica Alba.
The founders of Kimaï are 26-year-old childhood friends Jessica Warch and Sidney Neuhaus. They grew up in diamond-trading families and were disillusioned by the controversies and outdated practices that have plagued the industry so they questioned how they might set about changing it.
“Our generation represents more than 45% of the global luxury goods market, but the industry is still stuck in their old ways,” added Neuhaus.
The founders were also concerned with the uncertainty and opacity surrounding diamonds. So the founders started to look for alternatives and discovered lab-grown diamonds.
“It is almost impossible to know where our diamonds come from and child labor is sadly still a reality,” explained Warch. “We are not talking about cubic zirconia or crystals, but diamonds that are chemically and physically identical to their mined counterparts without the environmental or social impact.”
By developing lab-grown diamonds, the founders of the company were able to bring to life their desire for ethical fine jewelry without having to compromise on quality or design.
The pieces made by Kimaï are handmade in Antwerp using the highest-quality lab-grown diamonds and 18k recycled gold. And by selling directly to customers online, Kimaï is able to offer the same quality found at luxury jewelers, at a fraction of the price.
“We have followed Jessica and Sidney’s journey since inception and have been impressed by their vision and brilliant execution. They know how to use technology to better engage with their customers and create ethical but also beautiful designs straight to your door. We look forward to helping them shake up the 87 billion traditional diamond industry,” commented Talis Capital co-founder and managing partner Matus Maar.
Kimaï leverages a millennial-friendly drop model to introduce new pieces on a monthly basis and focuses on a carefully curated selection of unique designs with quality and design over quantity. The pieces are made to order so that they can quickly respond to its customers’ evolving demands and wants.