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AUrate Lands $13M in Series A

2019-06-27
NEW YORK, NY, Jewelry brand is announcing today that it has raised a $13 million Series A.
AUrate, the New York based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand is announcing today that it has raised a $13 million Series A, led by Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital, with plans to expand their fast growing online and offline operations and direct investment in technology. This Series A round is the largest in the fine jewelry category to date and one of the largest done in the consumer space. Additional participants in the round include Point King Capital, Arab Angel Fund and Drake Management.

AUrate soft launched in 2015, when co-founders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn held full time jobs at Goldman Sachs & Marc Jacobs, respectively. In true disruptive fashion, the brand was then officially launched in 2017, with both online and offline stores, making the company the first brand in the D2C fine jewelry space to be an omni-channel business since conception. Additionally, from the start the company has also been committed to sourcing all materials ethically, without skimping on cut, clarity, durability or design. The co-founders went on to raise $2.6M in a seed round, which secured the company's position from side hustle to full-blown operation. With these funds, a brand team was built-out, giving them the ability to effectively compete with and win substantial market share from heritage brands such as Tiffany & Co and Cartier. Not only did the operation grow, but the revenue did as well. The brand's online revenues have since grown by a consistent 400% year over year while retail has been doubling, profitably; driven by newcomers that are flocking to the brand as well as an extremely loyal customer base.

Created by two women frustrated with the current offering, AUrate's success stems from always putting their woman first and giving her a voice. Instead of defining what she needs, their D2C model and customer obsession allows them to truly listen and adapt. Offering the quality, craftsmanship and design from the old luxury world, but also the transparency, accessibility, communication and innovation from the new, AUrate has been able to win women over across the world, ages and backgrounds. 90% of their customers are women and more than 40% return, leading to exponential and efficient growth.

This new round of funding will be used to enhance profitability through growing all channels of the business and double down on what's been working. To grow their online business, AUrate plans to expand its data science team aiming to create an even better experience for customers, and cementing their spot at the front of the digital pack. AUrate will also continue to conquer the offline channel via a store expansion strategy, in-turn establishing an unparalleled omni-channel experience in the space.

AUrate's commitment to creating luxury goods that are both aspirational and attainable has not gone unnoticed with one of the biggest names in hedge funds leading this round. "I am committed to investing in founders who are strong operators and in companies that are category disruptors. By putting the customer at the core of their strategy, Bouchra and Sophie have taken the D2C fine jewelry market by storm and, since 2017, have created a brand that has been able to brilliantly lead the charge in the category," said Michael Platt, hedge fund manager, co-founder and CEO of BlueCrest Capital Management. "Aurate's robust revenue growth, retention and loyalty are unparalleled, and I truly see the company as (re)defining the jewelry luxury 2.0 space for the next generation of women."

AUrate continues to innovate and put its customer first by evolving its unique try-at-home platform: Curate by AUrate, which is widely recognized as the first-ever styling box in the fine jewelry space. With this new funding, the company also plans to put a heavy focus on international expansion as well as strengthening its leadership position via new marketing initiatives and introductions of new products.

AUrate has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, VOGUE, ELLE, and Harper's Bazaar, and is recognized for their commitment to creating ethically sourced pieces.

ABOUT AURATE
AUrate is the premier, direct-to-consumer fine jewelry brand offering ethically sourced, luxury jewels without the retail markup. Founded in 2015 by Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn, the company seeks to democratize the fine jewelry industry through its online driven model, accessible price points and social impact strategy. All AUrate jewelry is designed and manufactured in New York City. For more information or to shop the collection, please visit: www.auratenewyork.com.
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