BriteCo, an Evanston, Illinois-based startup that partners with jewelers to help consumers insure fine jewelry and watches within minutes of purchase, today announced a seed-round raise of $2 million. 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.
BriteCo founder and CEO Dustin Lemick 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.
“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 Lemick. “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.”
For its partner jewelers, BriteCo offers an easy to use, cloud-based Appraisal Management System (AMS) that is faster and more accurate than the $3 billion fine jewelry and watch industry’s traditional manual processes.
BriteCo also offers jewelers a new source of revenue while improving its 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.
In addition to providing instant coverage to consumers and an automated AMS for jewelers, BriteCo fills several significant gaps in the jewelry market including homeowner and renter insurance policies that usually don’t cover the full value of fine jewelry or watches, coverage that only includes a static replacement cost and lengthy appraisal processes.
“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.”