Fine jewellery brand Kimaï has received $1.2m (£920k) in seed funding to invest in its use of ethical jewellery.
The London-based jewellers, whose handmade pieces are crafted in Antwerp, champion “ethical and transparent” practices through the use of lab-grown diamonds and 18k recycled gold.
Having grown up in diamond-trading families, founders Jessica Warch and Sidney Neuhaus became disillusioned by the diamond industry at a young age. They hoped to change “outdated practices” of the sector, and “bring transparency, innovation and inclusivity to a consciously-minded generation of consumers”.
Neuhaus said: “Our generation represents more than 45% of the global luxury goods market, but the industry is still stuck in their old ways.”
“It is almost impossible to know where our diamonds come from, and child labour is sadly still a reality”, added Warch.
Concerned with the “uncertainty and opacity” surrounding the industry, the pair use diamonds that are “chemically and physically identical to their mined counterparts” without environmental or social impacts.
The £920k funding came from a round led by Talis Capital, and includes investments from fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, the head of the Facebook app, Fidji Simo, former director of Cartier France, Coralie de Fontenay and French businessman Xavier Niel.
Rebecca Minkoff said: “I’ve been honoured to have the opportunity to support female founders on their journey of entrepreneurship. I’ve been impressed by Sidney and Jessica’s expertise and vision for the future of the diamond industry and am excited to see the impact they will make.”
With the new funding it has secured, the brand hopes to grow its existing customer base, increase its product offering and expand the team internationally.