Industry / Retail

Clean Origin Owner Gets $20 Million Investment


Great Heights, the owner of lab-grown diamond e-tailer Clean Origin, has received $20 million in financing from Titan Industries, the Indian diamond giant that owns the Tanishq brand and e-tail site CaratLane.

The investment means that Titan will hold approximately 13.09% of the economic interest and 17.54% of the voting control in Great Heights. In addition, Ajoy Chawla, Titan Jewelry’s CEO, will join Great Heights’ seven-person board of directors.

Titan’s investment values the company at $132 million, on a pre-money valuation basis, and $152.8 million on a post-money valuation basis. Its annual sales for 2021 totaled $25 million, Titan said.

In a stock exchange filing, Titan called the funding “a strategic investment that will provide Titan a ringside view of the fast-growing Lab Grown Diamond (LGD) and Direct to Consumer (D2C) sectors.”

CEO Alexander Weindling tells JCK that while the company owns two lab-grown diamond e-tailers—Great Heights and Clean Origin—the company is now focusing on Clean Origin, even if Great Heights remains the name of the holding company.

“Clean Origin is the better known and the larger of the two sites,” he says. “That is the active brand. We had to set aside the Great Heights brand at the moment. The site’s still active, but I’m not really leaning into it.”

The new funding “will allow us to do everything we were going to do but faster and surrounded by even better minds,” Weindling says.

Among his plans are more brick-and-mortar stores, like the one that it opened last year in Dallas (pictured).

While Weindling wouldn’t comment on whether the company is currently profitable, Titan says its gross revenue totaled $11 million in 2019, $16 million in 2020, and $25 million in 2021.

Weindling believes Clean Origin is “the largest purely lab-grown omnichannel brand out there” and says he’s lucky to benefit from some of the “best brand-builders in the jewelry business.”

He notes its cofounder and president, Ryan Bonifacino, was chief marketing officer at Alex and Ani. Its advisory board is chaired by Terry Burman, former head of Signet Jewelers.

In addition, Brian Walker, the former chief technology and product officer of Delivery Hero, a European food delivery company, serves as its chief technology officer. Philip Hadley, former chairman and CEO of FactSet, a financial services company, serves as board chair.

(Photo courtesy of Clean Origin)

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By: Rob Bates

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