New York-registered startup Gemeye is an example of just how the fourth industrial revolution has digitised traditional sectors like jewellery.
The world is going digital and so is every industry, and technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and internet of things (IoT) rapidly changing the way we live, eat, and, most importantly, shop.
Ecommerce giants including Amazon and Flipkart have made shopping so easy that you can buy anything your heart desires by not even stepping out of your home. And this ecommerce breeze is slowing reaching hitherto traditional, offline sectors like high-end jewellery as well.
Gemeye is helping traditional family jewellers launch their very own online stores and list their products with ecommerce giants. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup has an in-house software along with backend that allows players to list their inventory on multiple marketplaces in just a few clicks. The startup also helps manages real-time inventory for these businesses.
Founded in November 2017 by Hemant Agarwal, Gemeye’s team is based out of Kolkata. The startup rolled out the beta version of its product in November 2018 and already has five jewellers from New York and Kolkata using its software. “Six more clients are in the pipeline,” says Hemant, 27.
Addressing pain points
Hemant, a Bachelor of Business Administration, has previously been the Managing Director of Software company Sternic Pvt Ltd. Having friends working in the jewellery business, Hemant had a front-row seat to all problems plaguing such family businesses.
“Jewellery usually being a family business, and with each having their own working style, it was hard to go online. So I eventually decided to build something out of these experiences,” Hemant says.
He registered the startup in 2017 in New York since their “main customer base is in the US, which houses more than 50,000 jewellery companies.”
Having started up in a niche sector, Hemant’s biggest challenge was figuring out the best-fit software solution that would also be user-friendly.
“My friends in the jewellery sector provided me with insights on the trends in the jewellery industry and the hurdles that they face in their operations. After analysing the issues, I supervised my team of developers to design the current product,” Hemant says.
Gemeye targets jewellery retailers, wholesalers, luxury watch brands, diamond and gemstones dealers.
SaaS solutions for traditional jewellers
The startup has two main offerings – setting up an online store for traditional companies, and helping traditional jewellers list their products on different ecommerce marketplaces.
It charges an initial setup fee, amounting to $1,500. Once that is done, they charge $299 per month for setting up an online store. For the other service – setting up an online store and helping list the products in other ecommerce platforms, Gemeye charges $449 each month.
Additionally, the startup offers digital marketing and image retouching services.
“Sometimes, traditional companies do not know how to market their products online or the kind of images that gets the customer’s attention. Our in-house team helps them with that as well,” says Hemant.
Under digital marketing, the startup offers three categories of monthly subscriptions – $750 for the basics, $1,500 for medium-level, and $2500 for aggressive digital marketing.
In the backend, it helps jewellers list their products on their websites or ecommerce platform. Once a company signs up on an ecommerce platform using Gemeye’s software, the account is connected with the ERP. This enables the startup to manage the real-time inventory for the particular client.
At present, Gemeye has four clients in the US and one in India, and records a $2,000 rise in revenue every month since its launch in November 2018.
According to technology research and advisory company Technavio, the global online jewellery market is expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 16 percent between 2018 and 2022. The fine jewellery market accounted for 74 percent of the total market share, with Americans leading the market as of 2017. Americans had more than 40 percent of the market share. The research also reveals that this share is expected to increase by 2022.
Gemeye is targeting this segment.
“We are looking to onboard five percent of the jewellery companies at the current subscription cost of $299 a month, within the next couple of years.”
While there are other players in this segment, including Shopify and Squarespace, what sets Gemeye apart is their focus on the jewellery industry.
“The other SaaS-based platforms are very generic and they cater to all industries. But we are focused only on jewellery,” says Hemant.
Presently a team of 10, Hemant’s initial investment in the startup was $125,000 from his own savings and help from friends and family.
The team is now looking to raise funds for quick expansion with a focus on sales and marketing. Gemeye is also launching mobile applications for both its Android and iOS users in the next three months.
Hemant says the startup is also working on a custom product builder and it should be released in the next five months.