Mumbai-based jewellery-focused community marketplace Joolz that was founded in June last year by Belgian-born Israeli Lorie and Eli Atlas, has raised Rs 3.3 crore (about $500,000) in a pre-Series-A round led by two prominent early-stage venture capital firms, Silicon Valley-based Powerhouse Ventures and Japan's M&S Partners.

The one-year-old company plans to use the proceeds primarily to boost operations, products, marketing and further building up its team, founder Arnaud Lorie told ET. Other investors who participated in the round include Ah! Ventures; Deepak Kasthwal, the former finance head of ride-hailing app Ola; PKX Thomas, the former chief technology officer of online travel agency Cleartrip; and Mahesh Ahuja, director at Brittman.

The startup which has brought on board about 35 jewellers, a mix of online and offline retailers, has so far largely focused on small-ticket jewellery items ranging from Rs 10,000-25,000. It was also a part of the Rajesh Sawhney-led GSF Accelerator.

"The opportunities for growth are massive here. The offline or traditional Indian jewellery market has been estimated at $40 billion while the online jewellery market, which is still nascent, is currently valued at about $200 million by a number of industry reports," Lorie said.

According to an estimate by jewellery portal Jewelmart, the online jewellery market in India is expected to grow to $3.6 billion over the next three years.

The other players in this space who raised funding recently are Bluestone, raised a Rs 200 crore Series D round last month while Tata Group firm Titan picked up a 62% stake in Caratlane for Rs 357.24 crore.

In January, Bengaluru-based online jewellery designer and retailer Melorra closed its first round of funding at $5 million (about Rs 33.4 crore) from venture capital firm Lightbox, in one of the largest amounts raised by an Indian venture in seed funding at the time.
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