Worthy, a leading online marketplace startup for pre-owned luxury goods, has raised $8 million in a Series B funding round led by Carmel Ventures, a member of the Viola Group.
Worthy, founded in 2012, previously raised over $8.5 million. As part of the investment, Carmel’s co-founder and general partner, Shlomo Dovrat, joined Worthy’s board of directors. Other investors in the current round include previous investors such as Dr. Meir Barel, the founder of Star Ventures, and Eddy Shalev, a Worthy board member and the founder of Genesis Ventures. Proceeds of the funding round will be used to expand its marketplace presence across the U.S. as well as towards product innovation.
“We believe there is a significant opportunity in ‘Re-commerce’ for privately owned high value jewelry, said Dovrat. “Consumers who own high valued jewelry, diamonds, watches and other luxury valuables do not have a fair and convenient alternative to sell them. As a true marketplace, Worthy brings significant value not only to the sellers but also to its buyers, who can buy well-described and professionally authenticated items directly from the public. We at Carmel are committed to invest in companies that aim to transform large markets and we are excited about Worthy’s vision, team and potential. We look forward to work with Worthy’s team and will actively support them as they expand the business.”
“U.S. households constitute, in effect, the single biggest diamond mine in the world, with over $1 trillion worth of polished diamonds. Any individual who owns a diamond is a stakeholder of this mine. It is estimated that there are only 50 more years’ worth of new gem quality diamonds worthy of excavations. The future of diamonds lays with recycling already-mined diamonds and repurposing them,” said Ben De-Kalo, founder and CEO of Worthy. “We provide businesses with direct and trusted access to the significant supply households present, including unique pieces that add a luxury flavor to their showcase.”
“Worthy aims to transform a very large market. We are grateful for the trust by Carmel Ventures, a world class firm and are excited to be working with Shlomo Dovrat to build a category leader,” added De-Kalo.
Worthy is the fastest growing on-line marketplace for the selling and buying of pre-owned luxury goods, such as diamond jewelry, colored stones and high-end timepieces. The platform has processed thousands of items and powered over $90 million worth of estimated merchandise since its launch and continues to enjoy very high growth.
Over the last year, Worthy expanded its operations including the build-out of its New York headquarters with the upgrading its grading labs as well as investment in its operational and technology infrastructure. Significant hires have included Peter C. Schneirla, president; Gil Gadot, COO; and its new head of evaluations, Roy Albers, formerly the head of evaluations at Tiffany & Co. The company employs 40 people and is planning to grow by 50 percent in the coming year.
Founded in 2000, Carmel Ventures is a venture capital firm which manages over $800m across four founds. As Israel’s top tier VC firm, Carmel invests in Israeli or Israeli-related early stage companies and build global category leaders. Carmel invests across a number of key market segments including software, new enterprise infrastructure, big data, digital media, consumer applications and semiconductors. Carmel, headquartered in Herzliya, is a member of the Viola Group, Israel’s premier technology focused Private Equity group with $2B under management.
Worthy is a secure online and secure marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods including diamonds, brand-named watches, jewelry, gemstones and precious metals. The company has developed an unbiased selling platform providing private sellers with the safest and quickest way to auction high-value items to a market of committed buyers and receive the best market value. By making the process simple and conducting guaranteed item grading, Worthy makes it easy for pre-approved buyers to enjoy a steady stream of deals suited to their business needs. Worthy is headquartered in New York City with an R&D facility in Israel.