I introduced this team at Techstars Seattle’s Demo Day last week so the cat is already out of the bag, but I wanted to make a more public announcement of our investment in TrueFacet.
The founders — Tirath Kamdar and Chris Chan — moved from New York to Seattle just to participate in Techstars, and now that the program is over will be returning to New York to build their business, but we’re sticking with them for the return trip as investors in their seed round.
TrueFacet is a branded marketplace for luxury jewelry, watches and accessories. The easiest analogy I’ve found for what TrueFacet does comes from the car industry, where new car dealers transformed the economics of the used car business by creating a new class of inventory called “Certified Pre-Owned”. These are used cars that buyers prefer to buy — and will pay a premium for — because they know the dealer has verified that the car is in excellent condition and stands behind the sale with both certification and warranty support.
Cars are hard to fake, but 40% of the branded jewelry sold on marketplaces like eBay — and as much as 75% of items from elite brands like Tiffany — is counterfeit. Buyers will pay a premium for the real thing, but they need a trustworthy go-between who can certify authenticity while also offering a fair price. TrueFacet has solved these problems with an elegant combination of smart technology and human expertise that allows them to promise authenticity and fair pricing at internet scale.
We’re excited to be a part of TrueFacet’s investor team and looking forward to working with them to build the definitive online marketplace for authentic, pre-owned luxury goods.
Photo at top by Tommy Chang, used under Creative Commons licensing.