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Jewellery e-tailer BlueStone in talks to raise $25 m

Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO, Founder, BlueStone.com
Startups
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Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO, Founder, BlueStone.com
Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO, Founder, BlueStone.com

Bengaluru, March 29:  

After raising over $15 million in two rounds of funding since its inception in 2011, online jewellery store, BlueStone.com is in talks to raise $25 million, double its headcount of 200 and grow its current turnover of Rs. 100 crore by three times, over the next 12 months.

Other than its three main investors, Accel Partners, Saama Capital and Kalaari Capital; the fledgling firm, has attracted strategic investments from none other than Ratan Tata himself and serial entrepreneur Ganesh Krishnan.

Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, founder and CEO, BlueStone.com says “We will be profitable by 2017-2018 despite our continued investments in growing our business. Ours is not an inventory-led business model, we make and deliver after we receive orders from customers unlike offline jewellery stores that store large inventory. We launch 2 jewellery collections a month and 20 collections a year compared to large offline players that launch 3 collections over 3 years. Most important, our range of 3,500 unique designs is easily double that of any offline store today and we plan to enhance it to 30,000 unique designs in the next 2 years.”

The average selling price on BlueStone.com has seen an upward trend from Rs. 12,000 when it first launched, to Rs. 20,000 at present and this will continue in the upward direction, says Kushwaha. So far, 50,000 people from across the country have bought jewellery from BlueStone.com. To enhance the customer experience, the company opened experience/display centres in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. A home try-on service launched a year ago is witnessing traction of 150-200 customers a month and conversions as high as 70 per cent.

“Typically customers who want to buy high value jewellery like bangles and necklaces opt for the home try-on service which has been very successful for us” said Kushwaha. BlueStone.com targets the 25-35 age profile of which 95 per cent are women.

To support its growth, BlueStone.com is looking to double its headcount from 200 to 400 over the next 12 months. “Unlike the top e-commerce firms in the country, 80 per cent of our workforce are from the jewellery segment and just 20 per cent from e-commerce, because we are a design-heavy, fine jewellery brand that chooses to retail only online right now.”

Asked if he plans to go offline and take on the might of players such as the Tatas, Reliance and other fine jewellery store chains, he said “It is a distinct possibility.”

The company has its own factory in Mumbai where it manufactures based on orders. With a recently launched ‘Fearlessly Femme’ collection and a range of platinum jewellery for men and women in the offing, BlueStone.com hopes to wipe out competition by offering customers the joy of browsing through thousands of unique designs and shopping throughout the year.

The fine jewellery market in India is pegged at $60 billion of which the online jewellery market accounts for a mere $50 million - $100 million.

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