UAE-based start-up Fergus James – a diamond jewellery retailer – has received Dhs1.5m ($408,441) in funding from local angel investors to expand its e-commerce business, it announced on Sunday.
The site offers customised wedding and engagement diamond rings – mainly targeting male shoppers – and delivers products across the world.
Formerly known as Dubai Rocks, the company has now launched internationally as Fergus James and has scaled up its product portfolio and offerings, a statement said.
The company said it will use the funds to further its expansion in the US, the UK and the GCC.
“The core target audience for the business is male shoppers who want diamond engagement rings and wedding bands, but prefer a streamlined, professional and transparent experience that removes the need to visit traditional jewellery stores and haggle for prices,” the statement said.
Along with the bespoke ring design services, FergusJames.com offers over 150 designs across all price ranges on diamonds that are sourced from the De Beers Global Sightholder’s list of companies and have been subject to the Kimberly process, which is the United Nations standard for ethical diamond sourcing.
A GIA certified team of in-house gemologists at Fergus James also oversee the diamond curation process, the statement added.
According to founder Fergus James Appleton, the jewellery industry has been sluggish to evolve and “off-the-shelf” offerings are becoming less appealing.
“Our model is very simple,” he said.
“It can be overwhelming for men to shop for jewellery. We’ve demystified and streamlined the process by providing professional guidance and advice and supplying premium quality products at a fraction of the retail cost.”
Fergus James is primarily online, but also has a design studio facility in Dubai that customers can visit.
The UAE has emerged as the biggest market for start-ups in the MENA region, accounting for 32 per cent of the deals and 59 per cent of the investment during the first half of the year, according to a report released last week by MENA startup data provider MAGNiTT.
Overall, the report found that 141 investments were made in the MENA region in H1 2018, a 12 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2017.
Last week, Dubai-based online marketplace The Luxury Closet also said it had secured $8.7m in funding to expand its business, while Dubai-based social media monitoring start-up Crowd Analyzer said it received $1.1m of Series A funding.