- Showing confidence in the disruption of the fine jewelry industry, LVMH Luxury Ventures, along with Ragnar Crossover Fund, More Investments and others, invested $90 million in Lusix, a lab-grown diamond company, according to a Friday press release shared with Retail Dive.
- Lusix said it will use the funds to build a second solar-powered production facility, which will start production this summer, per the press release.
- Opening its second facility will allow the company to meet the demand for lab-grown diamonds from its current clients and the overall industry, according to the announcement.
Spun off from Landa Labs and founded in 2016, Lusix has since grown to roughly 150 employees, including chemists, physicists, materials scientists and other staffers. The company now manufactures between 1- and 5-carat diamonds, according to the company’s website.
“We are thrilled and proud to welcome such high-profile investors, most notably LVMH Luxury Ventures, bringing their financial support and valuable industry insights,” Benny Landa, Lusix founder and chairman, said in a statement. “Their help will contribute greatly to our company’s success while the implications of this investment, both for Lusix and for the lab-grown diamond segment, are profound – and so exciting!”
Over the past year, the diamond industry has seen an unprecedented increase in consumer lab-grown diamond interest. Diamond industry analyst Edahn Golan told CNN that March 2022 data showed a 63% increase compared to last year for the number of engagement rings sold featuring a lab-grown diamond. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a large impact on diamond sourcing and pricing due to sanctions on Russia – one of the industry’s largest suppliers of natural diamonds – according to news reports from Bloomberg and Vogue.
During an analyst call in April, LVMH CFO Jean-Jacques Guiony said “(w)e are currently working on replacing sourcing from Russia, from other locations, and it's perfectly doable in a reasonably short time frame,” according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
In addition to Lusix, another significant investment LVMH has made within the category was in the iconic jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. The luxury fashion conglomerate bought the jewelry company in 2020 for about $15.8 billion. The final purchase price was $400 million less than the previously agreed-upon price of $16.2 billion.
Besides jewelry companies, LVMH also has infused its capital into emerging fashion, tech and skincare companies. In July 2021, LVMH announced plans to acquire a majority stake in Off-White, the brand founded by the late designer Virgil Abloh. Earlier this year, the company bought a minority stake in streetwear brand Aimé Leon Dore for approximately $2.3 million. LVMH Luxury Ventures also has the watch platform Hodinkee, the social selling platform Replika and the skincare brand Versed in its portfolio, according to its website.