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E-Commerce Startup Worthy Raises $8M for Diamond, Colored Gems Expansion

Oct 25, 2015 7:25 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Worthy, an online auction site for pre-owned diamonds and jewelry, has raised an $8 million Series B funding round. The funds will be used to focus on its diamond and colored stone jewelry business, according to a company press release.

The two-year-old New York City company, which also operates an R&D facility in Israel, previously raised more than $8.5 million.

Worthy insures goods to be sold and pays for shipping and authenticating them. Once items are inspected, they are typically placed on the e-commerce website within five days. Worthy then auctions them off to qualified buyers, mostly antique dealers and retail jewelers, paying the original owners via check, wire transfer, or PayPal, and taking a cut between 5 percent to 20 percent, depending on the price of the item.

Founder and chief executive officer Ben De-Kalo said in the press release, as the world’s diamond mines are going to be exhausted in about 50 years, and the business opportunities will lie in recycling already-mined diamonds, including the $1 trillion worth of polished stones that reside in U.S. households.

Earlier this year, jewelry industry veteran Peter Schneirla joined Worthy as president. He previously served as chief gemologist and executive vice president at Tiffany & Co., vice chairman of Harry Winston, and a De Beers consultant.

“The demand isn’t going away, and there is this pent-up, kinetic potential for the release back into the market for these secondarily mined stones,” Schneirla told New York Business Journal last week. “This is already happening in places like Japan as the new supply starts to dwindle.”

The company will also use this funding round to hire more customer service specialists and improve the technology related to the customer experience, including its "virtual pricing engine," which can help determine value remotely.
Tags: e-commerce, Peter Schneirla, Rapaport News, recycled diamonds, resale, Worthy
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