Blockchain startup Diamond Standard, which is tokenizing diamonds to create a new investable asset class, raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Left Lane and investment management firm Horizon Kinetics.
Diamond Standard is aiming to use the new funding to expand its production capacity and accelerate distribution of its tokenized products, according to a statement. “With the recent launch of the Diamond Standard Bar and Diamond Standard Fund, additional production capacity is needed to meet rapidly growing investor demand,” the company said.
“The firm is hiring aggressively and building a new bar assembly facility in collaboration with the International Gemological Institute,” the statement added.
The diamond industry has historically struggled to attract investors, despite its allure for jewelry, mainly due to the lack of a uniform system for standardizing the value of the precious gem. Diamond Standard is aiming to change that by making Ethereum-based tokens that are backed by physical diamonds, which are standardized and tradeable on several exchanges.
The blockchain company also views the new asset class as an alternative investment for anyone looking for a store of value amid a high inflation market environment, due to its lack of correlation to the returns of gold, stocks or bonds. “Investors need a new uncorrelated asset class, and this capital will enable us to increase capacity and expand our offerings,” said Cormac Kinney, founder and CEO of Diamond Standard.
Diamond Standard, which is licensed in Bermuda to issue, sell and redeem tokens and digital assets, provides both retail and institutional investors with a diamond-backed digital currency. The physical coins, which are stored in a vault, hold eight to nine standardized diamonds. The diamond-embedded tokens are digitized through an Ethereum-based digital coin, bitcarbon, which is tradable on different exchanges.
Diamond Standard Admin Trust, a Delaware statutory trust entity within the Diamond Standard Group, has also established a peer-to-peer marketplace to trade its token directly.