The e-retailer lets consumers inspect replica rings before buying them.
Online jewelry e-retailer Ocappi.com has raised $10 million in an initial funding round.
The web merchant sells “luxury” diamond engagement rings, but with a twist: Consumers can inspect sterling silver and cubic zirconia replica rings at home before spending the $5,000 to $45,000 on the real things. The replicas ship free via UPS and consumers can keep them for up to five days, Ocappi says.
The new capital will go toward product development, marketing and technology, the web-only retailer says. Ocappi also says it plans to launch its first ad campaign next week on The Knot, a bridal and marriage informational and e-commerce site operated by XO Group Inc., No. 393 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
“The diamond engagement ring industry has yet to fully embrace the possibilities offered by new technologies, and the 1.7 million U.S. consumers buying diamond engagement rings annually are paying a price,” says Ocappi CEO and founder Isaac Gurary. "Many people find the sprawling selection on sites like Blue Nile too confusing, and consider high-end brands like Tiffany’s to be intimidating. We see ourselves as Davids in an industry of Goliaths.”
Online jeweler Blue Nile Inc. is No. 71 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, while Tiffany & Co. is No. 116. Blue Nile’s web sales in 2011 increased nearly 29% year over year, while Tiffany’s sales increased about 14%, according to the guide. The guide also says that overall online jewelry sales for the retailers in the Top 500 increased 8.89% year over year in 2011.