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TrueFacet, led by Tirath Kamdar, raises $1.7 million for online jewelry marketplace

TrueFacet is a graduate of Techstars.

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: Backed by an array of big-name investors, online startup TrueFacet has announced it raised $1.7 million in seed capital.

The New York-based company’s plan for a “transparent” online marketplace for secondhand jewelry that’s supported by certified appraising experts is being financed by investment power-players Maveron, Social Leverage, Founders Coop and Trilogy, according to a report by TechCrunch. Other sources note that several top angel investors are also involved in the project.

Founded by Tirath Kamdar, TrueFacet is a graduate of Techstars, one of the most prestigious startup accelerators in the world –so much so that the mentorship-driven program accepts fewer than 1 percent of the companies that apply. Techstar mentors include Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, Tumbr chief executive David Karp, and HubSpot chief technology officer Dharmesh Shah.

While Kamdar attributes his foray into startups to an encounter with GroupOn founder Brad Keywell and the subsequent knowledge and experiences he garnered as a GroupOn employee, the Kellogg alumnus has spent most of his life inundated in the jewelry business. Four decades ago, his relatives opened Gemerals — a division of the Indian company Mahendra Brothers, a longstanding DeBeers partner — in New York and Chicago. It was in the Windy City that Kamdar gained his first exposure to the family jewelry business, and he ended up staying stayed on board for eight years, eventually ascending to vice president of marketing.

Following his time at Gemerals and GroupOn, Kamdar decided to start his own company to address two conundrums he wished to solve within the $70 billion industry he knew so well: how to introduce price transparency to the online market for secondhand jewelry and how to circumvent ersatz products.

“There’s a problem that exists with the shopper,” Kamdar explained to TechCrunch. “Forty percent of the branding out there is counterfeit.”

Through TrueFacet, consumers and sellers can obtain real-time pricing at market rates within six seconds of submitting their item for appraisal. Once the trinket is accepted by TrueFacet’s system it can be sent to New York where experts can verify the item’s authenticity.

“No piece of merchandise ever gets to the shopper unless it goes through our authentication system,” Kamdar declared.

According to TechCrunch’s figures, there have been 4,500 articles of jewelry listed on the platform by 2,200 sellers. To date, TrueFacet has processed over 10,000 pieces for certification.

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