BriteCo Bags $9M Series A Investment For Jewelry-Focused Insurtech

BriteCo, a tech-enabled direct-to-consumer jewelry and watch insurance company, this week secured a $9 million Series A. The round was led by Brand Foundry Ventures while Western Technology Investment and Hyde Park Angels participated.

In light of the raise, Benzinga spoke with founder and CEO Dustin Lemick regarding commitments to raise the firm’s customer base and fulfilling the company’s mission to bring the jewelry insurance experience into the digital age.

Context: Lemick’s first exposure to the jewelry industry was through family-owned stores that were opened in the 1970s. After 13 years in the business, he realized there were significant problems with appraisals and insurance.

“A lot of my customers – young folks buying rings – saw buying insurance as a pain,” he explained. “I thought there had to be a better way.”

And so Lemick, alongside three other founders, including one that's a fully-credentialed actuary, set out to build a jewelry and watch insurance fintech targeted at Millennials and Generation Z.

Building: There are two parts to BriteCo: technology and insurance.

“We had to build a full tech stack and insurance company,” Lemick said. “One of the early challenges was really starting from scratch and building a good, intuitive technology.”

The other major challenge entailed licensure and navigating regulatory roadblocks in every U.S. state. With the regulatory infrastructure being hundreds of years old, it’s tough for new entrants.

“There are these massive moats to enter the space,” he told Benzinga. “There were really strenuous regulatory burdens we had to navigate. Pricing is regulated. Coverage is regulated and you need to present a plan to every single state.”

Offering: In partnership with investor Hannover Rueck SE HVRRY, users can secure insurance in about two minutes through BriteCo’s easy-to-use app interface.

“We built, from scratch, a fully automated underwriting machine that essentially allows you to get a quote within seconds and a policy in minutes.”

Cost and coverage, however, do differ based on state-by-state underwriting criteria. Some of the most difficult places to do business include New York and California, Lemick added, noting that much of the difficulty is around customer protection and fraud.

“Fraud is something that we’re really dialed in on and we have built an automated underwriting with really smart technology that detects what’s a good and bad risk,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years and built that into our technology which flags based on certain parameters that we see have a really high propensity for fraud.”

Generally speaking, more expensive items often go through heavier underwriting and the claims processes usually last two weeks. There are also monthly and annual insurance payment plans with the latter carrying a discount.

Innovation: In light of the firm’s $9 million Series A, which brings the firm’s total funding raised to $11 million, BriteCo plans to enhance its technology and expand the depth and breadth of its offering across new markets.

“We’ve seen a lot of synergy with some other tangentially related products,” Lemick said. “There are a whole bunch of different lines of business that we’re looking at, in conjunction with what we currently offer.”

This comes on the heels of a change in trends during the pandemic. Though jewelry sales suffered early on, they returned with vengeance.

“The industry is extremely strong and we started growing faster a year ago when we released our direct-to-consumer product.”

Takeaway: Insurance on jewelry offers peace of mind for a fraction of the insured item’s value.

“People don’t really understand how much value there actually is. Our insurance costs like 0.5 to 1.0% of the total item.”

To learn more about BriteCo and its offerings, click here.

Posted In: Brand Foundry VenturesBriteCoDustin LemickHannover ReHyde Park AngelsWestern Technology InvestmentFintechNewsFinancingExclusivesInterview

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.