- Bulgarian-founded jewelry startup Taylor & Hart announces raising a €4M investment round led by their existing investor Active Partners with the participation of the British bank Virgin Money, founded by UK entrepreneur Richard Branson, and the crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
- The company will use the investment to continue developing its innovative use of blockchain technologies in gems tracking and evolve into a market leader in personalized engagement rings.
- Having a team of 65 people in four countries, including Bulgaria, and clients in the UK, USA, and Europe, Taylor & Hart will also invest in expanding its international presence and building its brand.
“Taylor & Hart was created to transform the unclear and conservative way of shopping for rings. That is why we are providing a revolutionary multi-channel service and an exceptional customer experience that allows customers to create unique and meaningful jewelry that can be passed down through generations. In this next stage of growth, we will work to fulfill our mission to become a global leader in the design and sale of personalized engagement rings,” Nikolay Piriankov, founder and CEO of Taylor & Hart, comments on the investment.
The funding comes at a time when the company registers growth in the sales of its laboratory-synthesized diamonds of more than 200% on an annual basis. Since its launch in 2014, Taylor & Hart has also recorded annual revenues of over €11.3M.
A personal story turned into a business
Taylor & Hart was founded in 2013 by Nikolay Piryankov and Shane Hunt to change the design approach in the engagement jewelry industry. The idea came when one of the co-founders’ friends wanted to design a unique ring for his girlfriend.
They soon realized that the process of creating a custom, made-to-order ring was complex and lengthy, and they saw an opportunity to disrupt the traditional way of shopping for rings. The company’s belief is that an engagement ring should be a reflection of the couple’s love story and that everyone should have the opportunity to design something exceptional.
“Traditional jewelry companies seem to not really listen to the customer, to not really care about transparency and customer experience. Those things, as a potential customer, as I was about to be, felt like absolute hygiene requirements. Like, why are you not listening to me and why am I struggling to get information about pricing and how the industry works? Why are things so vague? It just felt like, this is an industry that really needs disruption. I think we were right about that and it’s been a fantastic journey since we started,” Nikolay Piriankov has previously shared with The Recursive.
Initially, the company was bootstrapped by its founders, followed by a funding round from friends and family once they had demonstrated proof of concept. They have since raised two additional rounds of funding, with investment from LAUNCHub VC, The Garage Soho (the investment vehicle of Sir John Hegarty, one of the founders of esteemed branding agency BBH), and Active Partners (one of the UK’s leading consumer investment firms who have worked with brands such as Rapha, LEON, and Soho House).
Ethical and sustainable practices in diamond sourcing
The company employs blockchain technology to ensure the authenticity of its products and to enable customers to track every step of their diamond’s journey. This provides visibility into the origins of the gems and creates transparency in the global diamond supply chain. Taylor & Hart proudly claims to be the first jewelry brand in the UK to use blockchain to track the journey of a diamond in the creation of an engagement ring.
“The jewelry industry has always been and continues to be an incredibly opaque market. We’re democratizing the way customers can design bespoke engagement rings and doing so in a more sustainable way. We’ve broken down the steps it takes to create a completely unique ring and made it an enjoyable and stress-free experience, which results in a piece of jewelry that feels like it’s a true representation of a couple’s love and commitment,” Nikolay Piriankov has shared in a previous interview.