High-tech jewellery business aims to raise £10m

Kate Unsowrth Vinaya

A British tech start-up that creates jewellery with integrated sensors has set itself the target of raising £10m by the start of next year to propel it to the next stage of its growth.

Vinaya, which employs 40 people across London, New York and San Francisco, secured £2m from a seed round last November, but is now bidding to more than triple that through a larger series A round.

The company rebranded from Kovert Designs last year and describes itself as “a research and design house creating lifestyle-enhancing technology products”. Its product portfolio includes a collection of range of vibrating rings, necklaces and bracelets that are designed to help consumers stop looking at their smartphones and find a “digital balance”.

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Its jewellery is typically priced between £200 and £300 and vows to give consumers back their lives.

In an interview with Business Insider, CEO Kate Unsworth confirmed the company is about to start pitching to investors again and would be raising a convertible note.

“I don’t want to raise an A now because if we raise now our valuation will be lower,” she explained. “But we need money before Q1. So the way that convertible note works is, we’ll take let’s say £2m and anybody who comes in now, because it’s slightly higher risk, gets a discount on the series A price. It’s like a loan, so they don’t get equity straight away. When the Series A comes round they don’t just get the £2M worth of equity, they get £2 million plus 20% more.”

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Shoreditch-based Vinaya was supported by no fewer than 17 investors when it raised its seed round at the end of last year.

Unsworth is considering approaching large venture capital houses in London, but said she’s more likely to go to angel investors because they tend to be less hands-on after they invest. “We have people we can just call,” she said. “It should be relatively easy to get the meetings, whether or not they’ll say yes is another story.”

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