April 12, 2010, 12:00 AM

Custom jewelry e-retailer raises $5.2 million

Gemvara Inc. has raised $5.2 million in a second round of financing led by current venture investors Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners.

Gemvara Inc., a custom jewelry e-retailer, has raised $5.2 million in a second round of financing led by current venture investors, Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners. It plans to use the capital to improve consumer experience and for strategic marketing initiatives.

“On the consumer experience side we are conducting continuous usability studies and making improvements to the site experience,” says Dan Marques, director of online marketing for Gemvara. “On the marketing initiatives front, we are investing substantial resources in ramping up our existing online marketing channels, expanding our social media efforts, and building up our analytics capabilities.”

The company is also working on tweaking its pricing structure for its more than 1 billion possible variations of customized jewelry, Marques says.

Originally founded in 2007 as Paragon Lake, the company was rebranded this year as Gemvara. Gemvara enables consumers to use an online program to customize pieces of jewelry.

“We’ve been pleased since launching with the number of visitors to Gemvara and the number of orders those visitors have placed,” founder Matt Lauzon says. “Consumers are thrilled to be able to get exactly what they want and we’re thrilled to have happy customers. With the support of Highland Capital and Canaan Partners, Gemvara is well positioned for an exciting stage of expansion and development.”

In July 2008, Gemvara raised $5.8 million in a Series A round of financing from Highland Capital and Canaan. These funds were used to build the site’s customization technology, attract initial customers, and to develop its customer service program. Dan Ciporin of Canaan Partners and Bob Davis of Highland Capital serve on Gemvara’s board.

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