Gemvara was started by Lauzon and Jason Reuben in 2006, while the duo were undergrad students at Babson College, and originally incubated by Highland Capital Partners. (I first wrote about the company in 2008.) The Gemvara site displays about two million items, but the company doesn't own any inventory. The pictures you see online are computer-generated, and the jewelry is manufactured only after you place an order.
"We think the market is moving toward made-to-order, and a very personalized experience," Lauzon says. "We want to lead that." The new funding will go toward expanding the products the site offers — adding bracelets, for instance, and more products at an entry-level price point. "We're also continuing to improve the user experience and our own analytics," he says. The company has 75 employees, and is setting up a more permanent presence in Manhattan, Lauzon says, where most of Gemvara's products are manufactured.
Gemvara raised $15 million last spring, led by the British VC firm Balderton Capital. (All of Gemvara's previous investors, including Cambridge-based Highland Capital, participated in this latest round.) In total, the company has now collected about $50 million in funding. Lauzon has recruited executives from Rue La La, Zappos, and Victoria's Secret, among other established e-tailers. Last year, Lauzon was named to Inc. Magazine's list of 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 (he's 27.)
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.