, the maker of a line of smart jewelry for women including a high-tech ring that buzzes and lights up when you receive a phone call or text, has raised $5.1 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, the company announced this morning. Also participating in the round were new investors High Line Ventures and Silas Capital, and prior investors First Round Capital, Social+Capital, Mesa+, BBV and PCH.
To date, Ringly has raised $6.1 million.
The funding comes shortly after Ringly wrapped up pre-sales for its ring, which is currently sold online. The device, which comes with different stones and band options, was dreamed up by Christina Mercando, who used to work as a Senior Product and Design Manager at eBay. She realized that many women have a habit of keeping their phones in their purses, and so were missing important calls and texts.
The idea with Ringly is that the jewelry itself will alert you to these incoming messages, even when your phone is out of reach.
At Ringly, Mercando is joined by a team of designers and engineers hailing from MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Stanford whose backgrounds include neuroscience, machine learning and mechatronics.
The Ringly device comes in a couple of styles at present. The “Launch” collection rings are 18K matte gold with a 3 micron plated setting and feature precious and semi-precious stones. “Limited” collection rings, meanwhile, are made with a rhodium plated setting and a tourmalated quartz semi-precious stone. There are several stones to choose from including black onyx, pink sapphire, rainbow moonstone, emerald, and the quartz for the “Limited” collection ring. Mercando says that the moonstone was the top seller until they debuted their Limited collection, and now that’s the most popular.
The ring also syncs with an iOS or Android application that’s used to configure how it responds to incoming calls, texts, emails, or even updates from favorite apps, like Facebook. Four different vibration patterns are available, allowing you to trigger specific events to alert you differently from others.
While the company has sold out of its pre-orders, Ringly declined to say specifically how many of its devices have been sold so far, only noting that they’ve “exceeded our expectations.” Ringly exceeded its sales goal within 8 hours of its launch this summer, and the first 1,000 rings were sold under 24 hours, Mercando notes. Originally, rings were sold for $145, but the price has since increased to $195.
Some of Ringly’s earliest customers began receiving their orders in early December, and now the company is working to fulfill the remaining pre-orders. New orders today, however, will ship in a few months – likely, April.
Like many early wearable devices, one of the challenges for Ringly is making improvements to battery life. The ring today runs on a battery that lasts for around two to three days on a charge. But the Ringly case itself doubles as a charger, which is a clever trick. You just replace the ring in the box and plug it in to a USB outlet. (Perhaps women are now in need of a “smart jewelry” box, too?)
“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback since we began shipping and are currently working through minor fixes and longer term changes,” says Mercando. “We’re always looking to improve connection stability and battery life.”
Now a team of 12 full-time, Ringly is putting some of its new funding toward the hiring of more engineers and designers, as well as expanding the company’s jewelry collection, adding new features, and introducing partnerships with fashion brands and designers to create a wider array of designs.
Says Mercando, these new fashion wearables will include other form factors, including new rings and bracelets. “Stay tuned for collaborations as well,” she hints.