CaratLane cofounder Mithun Sacheti (pictured), who just received around $560 million for his share of the Indian e-tailer, says his company’s success stemmed from understanding what he considered Blue Nile’s failure to expand its selection.
When Sacheti worked in the jewelry business in the United States in the early 2000s, he became fascinated with Blue Nile, which was then at the height of its disruptive powers, he said on a 2022 episode of The Jewelry District.
That led him to return to India and found CaratLane, which has since become the country’s largest jewelry e-tailer. But he also began to look at Blue Nile as a cautionary tale.
“Where they slowed down in their growth was they remained an engagement ring brand,” he told JCK on Wednesday. “If you see most of the brick-and-mortar fine jewelers, they morphed into fine jewelry. The change we made to our thinking was we became obsessed with being the everyday jeweler rather than the occasion jeweler.”
He notes that most of CaratLane’s customers buy an item from the site twice a year, and its average price point is $400.
This week, Titan Company, which had owned 71% of the company, purchased the remaining share of the business from Sacheti and his family. It now owns 98% of the business.
The transaction values CaratLane at more than $2 billion—which is six times greater than what Blue Nile was sold for last year.
Sacheti is leaving CaratLane, which will now be headed by cofounder and current chief operating officer Anish Anand.
“When you get into a partnership, you have to expect that the dominant partner will eventually take over,” he says. “Titan has been a great partner. The team won’t change, and the business will remain independent.”
Meanwhile, Sacheti is scouting other opportunities in the jewelry space. “We have to figure out where the opportunities are,” he says. “We would love to partner with operators who are running a great business and help keep them well-capitalized.”
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