Insurtech startup BriteCo raises $2 million seed round to protect consumers in the $3 billion fine jewelry and luxury watch market
- BriteCo is transforming the jewelry and watch industry by bringing jewelry appraisal and insurance process into the 21st century.
- BriteCo makes it easy for customers to get coverage for fine jewelry, engagement rings and expensive watches (in minutes, at the point of sale).
- Renters and homeowners insurance doesn’t cover these items sufficiently (if at all), and that’s a big financial risk for customers.
- One of the investors is Trunk Club founder Brian Spaly.
BriteCo, an insurtech startup that partners with jewelers to help consumers insure fine jewelry and watches within minutes of purchase, today announced a $2 million seed round. The round’s investors include Brian Spaly, the founder of Trunk Club, and Jeff Taylor, the former chairman and CEO at Cole Taylor Bank.
Available exclusively through partner jewelers, BriteCo provides consumers peace of mind, with verified appraisals and immediate replacement coverage by HDI Global, an A rated insurance carrier. In addition, BriteCo’s coverage has no deductible, automatically updates protection each year using advanced price analytics and predictive models, and offers a more streamlined claims experience. For its partner jewelers, BriteCo offers an easy to use, cloud-based Appraisal Management System (AMS) that is faster and more accurate than the jewelry industry’s traditional manual processes.
Founded by a third-generation jeweler, BriteCo partners with local retailers to insure fine jewelry and watches in 49 states. BriteCo’s team include: Co-founder & Chief Insurance Officer Conor Redmond, Founder & CEO Dustin Lemick, Co-founder & Chief Technology Officer Ben Mautner, Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer John Ortbal.
BriteCo is digitally transforming the jewelry insurance experience. BriteCo also offers jewelers a new source of revenue while improving their in-store customer experience. Once an appraisal is completed on the BriteCo AMS, customers receive an immediate insurance quote via email or text, which allows them to purchase coverage within minutes, even before they leave the store.
“As a third-generation jeweler, my family and I have a long history delighting customers and helping them celebrate moments of joy in their lives,” said Dustin Lemick, BriteCo founder and CEO. “But the jewelry buyer is changing rapidly. Millennials now represent the largest jewelry buying demographic, and their expectations are different from those of prior generations. BriteCo helps jewelers by providing them with the optimal blend of online convenience and personal attention.”
In addition to providing instant coverage to consumers and an automated AMS for jewelers, BriteCo fills several significant gaps in the jewelry market:
• Insufficient Consumer Protection: Homeowners and renters insurance policies usually don’t cover the full value of fine jewelry or watches. Further, making a claim can bring premium increases or canceled coverage. BriteCo offers a zero-deductible policy with coverage up to 125 percent of insurance replacement value.
• Outdated Coverage: Most jewelry insurance covers a static replacement cost, requiring customers to get items reappraised every couple of years. BriteCo automatically adjusts replacement values each year to match the market.
• Excessive Time Spent Getting Insured: Most fine jewelry insurance requires a lengthy appraisal process, which includes finding an insurance company, getting an accurate quote, scheduling an add-on policy and then keeping coverage updated in the future. BriteCo automates all of those steps.
“What Dustin and his team have accomplished in such a short period of time is amazing,” said Jeff Taylor, one of the company’s investors. “Getting BriteCo licensed in virtually every state before officially launching is a testament to their hard work and the professionalism with which they’re approaching this big challenge. I’m excited to be a part of their push to modernize the jewelry insurance and appraisal process and to help millions of people across the US protect their most valuable possessions.”
Dustin Lemick is a is a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and his family has owned and operated retail jewelry locations in the Chicagoland area for over 60 years.
BriteCo offers jewelers a time-saving, straightforward way to create appraisals, ensure their customers are protected and generate new revenue opportunities. For consumers, BriteCo is a faster and easier way to protect fine jewelry and watches from loss, theft or damage. All BriteCo-provided insurance is covered by an AM Best A rated insurance carrier.