VCs Take Shine to Mondera

Mondera.com of New York is the latest online jewelry store to grab onto the venture capital money wheel.

In a deal that closed Sept. 9, @Ventures led a $13 million first round financing that also included Global Investment Partners, a private fund managed by Mondera’s co-founder, Fred Mouawad.

Unlike some venture-backed companies, Mondera developed its infrastructure prior to raising institutional capital. This approach was made possible due to the Mouawad family’s four-generation background in the jewelry business.

“Our primary objective is getting customer service ready for the holidays,” said co-founder Pascal Mouawad. “We have a lot of operators to guarantee service and also follow up after the sale.”

The vast majority of the proceeds from the investment will target a heavy advertising campaign that co-founder Pascal Mouawad said will be coupled with distribution deals to increase the company’s presence in the increasingly crowded online jewelry market.

Mondera intends to have three categories – diamonds, fine jewelry and watches – on its site, which launched Aug. 16. The site currently offers more than 20,000 diamonds, over 1,000 jewelry items and the watch category, which is still being developed, will have watches from Mondera and other suppliers. The company intends to offer a gift service through the site.

Mouawad said the company plans to raise more capital through private offerings as the company grows.