Digital-only jewellery brand Melorra has raised $12 million in a Series C funding round led by existing investor Lightbox. Venture lender Blacksoil Capital, also a returning backer, participated in the round along with a clutch of new investors.
The latest infusion takes the total capital raised by the Bengaluru-based startup to $25 million, Melorra founder and CEO Saroja Yeramilli told TechCircle.
“In this round, $10 million is equity and $2 million is venture debt,” she added. Yeramilli worked with marquee Indian jewellers Titan and Tanishq and technology firm Dell before starting Melorra in 2015.
New investors in the Series C round included Dabur’s Burmans, Great Eastern Shipping Company’s Ravi Sheth, Rainmaker Ventures, and the Jeejeebhoy family office, according to a statement from August Jewellery, the Bengaluru based company that owns Melorra.
The deal also marks Lightbox’s fourth investment from its new fund, which closed fundraising with a $209 million corpus early last month. The Mumbai-based venture capital firm first invested in Melorra in 2016 in its seed round.
The capital raised in the latest round will be used to add to the current headcount of 120. Hiring will be concentrated in technology to make the e-shopping experience far more tech-driven using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and personalization, Yeramilli added. “Apps will be our future foray. We are redesigning the app experience,” she said.
With no inventory, no brick-mortar stores, no factory, no in-house logistics setup, Melorra bills itself an asset-light, capital-efficient business.
“We send fashion consultants of Italian, French origin to the Fashion Weeks at Paris, Milan and get from them exclusive trend reports, and then launch our collections every week, inspired by one or other fashion trend... We create the mould on receiving an order, through 3D printing and then we do casting of gold jewellery, giving it a finish that’s more aligned with international preferences as opposed to hand-made jewellery,” she elaborated on the startup’s quest to turn gold jewellery into more affordable, daily-wear, and fashionable in a Zara-esque like fast fashion model for young women. About 75% of the customer base, she added, was aged under 30.
“By bringing gold jewellery to the mainstream in a never-before manner, Melorra is encouraging more women to experiment with their wardrobe,” Lightbox partner Sid Talwar said.
In April 2018, Melorra amped up its delivery capability to more pin codes across India. To do this, it tied up with numerous logistics partners. It reached 1,300 towns in 18 months. “We have delivered to 20% of pincodes in India already. We are seeing huge traction from small towns, much deeper than Tier II,” Yeramilli added.