Mondera.com, which sells jewelry and luxury gifts online, announced today that it has a secured a $13 million (US$) first round of funding led by @Ventures, the affiliated venture capital arm of Internet incubator CMGI (NASDAQ: CMGI). Also participating in the financing is Global Investment Partners.
“This funding will allow Mondera.com to offer more specialized services to its customers and will enable us to reach out to more consumers while enhancing our presence in the marketplace,” said Fred Mouawad, CEO and co-founder of Mondera.com.
The company announced on August 23rd that it will sponsor selected areas of Women.com, the women’s destination site affiliated with Hearst Magazines. Mondera.com will now be promoted in Women.com’s Wedding Channel, Redbook Online and the online arm of Town & Country magazine. In addition, Mondera.com will receive print advertising through Good Housekeeping’s Guide to Online Shopping.
Diamonds Will Be Certified
Security is a major concern for customers when they are making expensive purchases online, and Mondera.com is attempting to ease some of the uncertainty. In addition to offering secure transactions, the company says all of the diamonds it sells will be independently certified by the Gemological Institute of America.
Mondera.com’s Web site links to the Gemological Appraisal Association, where customers can get jewelry appraised. Mondera.com also has a 30-day return policy and representatives who will answer customer’s questions via e-mail, instant messaging or telephone.
“Fine jewelry and luxury items comprise an exciting and rapidly developing e-commerce market sector as consumer confidence in secure transactions over the Web solidifies,” said @Ventures general partner David Nerrow.
Based in New York City, Mondera.com was founded by Fred and Pascal Mouawad, the fourth generation of a family which has been in the diamond manufacturing and distribution business since 1890. Mondera.com launched August 9th, offering more than 20,000 diamonds and other precious stones.
In addition to selling products, Mondera.com is focusing on educating potential customers. The Web site has an advanced learning center that offers information about how diamonds are created and mined, as well as the history of the industry. The learning center also offers information about the 4 Cs of diamonds: Color, clarity, carat and cut.