Goldmoney Announces Investment in Menē Inc.
Luxury online jewelry venture founded in partnership with Diana Widmaier-Picasso to offer pure 24 karat gold designs
June 15, 2017 - Goldmoney Inc. (TSX:XAU) ("Goldmoney"), a precious metal financial service and technology company, today announced its investment in Menē Inc. ("Menē"), a newly formed direct-to-consumer fine jewelry venture. Menē will manufacture and retail timeless 24 karat gold jewelry online through an innovative first-to-market user experience and transparent pricing model.
Menē Inc., founded by Roy Sebag and noted art historian Diana Widmaier-Picasso, has its principal office located at 6 Place Vendome in Paris, France. Goldmoney Inc. has secured the largest equity investment in Menē Inc. after Menē founders Roy Sebag and Diana Widmaier-Picasso. Menē has agreed to exclusive dealing, storage, and wholesale distribution with Goldmoney as part of the investment.
Sebag, the largest shareholder of both Goldmoney and Menē, serves as Chief Executive Officer of the venture. Menē creative and artistic direction is overseen by Ms. Widmaier-Picasso, who serves as Chief Artistic Director. Multifaceted designer Sunjoo Moon, who formerly designed for Missoni and LVMH's Kenzo brand, serves as Creative Director.
By crafting timeless gold jewelry and providing a transparent and empowering shopping experience, Menē aims to revive the ancient tradition of jewelry as a store of enduring value and accessible savings. Menē is currently in closed private beta and will launch to the greater public in the fall of 2017.
Menē - The Name
Menē ("meh-ney") is an ancient Aramaic word with a deep meaning that links jewelry, gold, money, and savings. A "Menē", reﬂecting 567 grams of pure gold, is the ﬁrst written word for "money" as codified in the Code of Hammurabi approximately 4,000 years ago. For much of written history, humans exchanged value by pricing goods and services in units of "menē", which provided a predefined measurement of gold. Those units were often ultimately settled as pure 24 karat jewelry that could be readily exchanged. This ancient tradition, though often misunderstood by economists, is alive and well in the East where pure gold jewelry powers a savings economy in which jewelry is bought, sold, exchanged, and borrowed against as an asset that maintains its purchasing power.
"Since the 2008 financial crisis, it has been my objective to build companies that democratize access to physical gold, reviving the wisdom of a natural, decentralized, savings-based economy. With Goldmoney, we built the first digital gold-backed savings and payments platform to empower individuals by making gold accessible and interoperable digitally as commodity money," said Goldmoney CEO Roy Sebag. "With Menē, we plan to disrupt the global jewelry industry - an industry that has seemingly forgotten that jewelry has historically been a store of enduring value. Industry incumbents have focused on diluting precious metal content with inferior metallic elements that tarnish with time, failing to achieve the primary objective of fine jewelry: to forever bind cherished memories in a timeless object that has intrinsic savings value. It is our vision to offer exceptionally designed jewelry that preserves its original purchase price, with a unique client experience that allows Menē jewelry to be sold or exchanged as easily as it can be bought."
"I am honoured to have my friend Diana Widmaier-Picasso as my business partner on this venture. Her unparalleled encyclopedic knowledge of art, design, and ancient jewelry is an asset to the development of our global luxury brand," said Sebag. "I am also pleased to welcome Sunjoo Moon as Chief Design Officer, who is overseeing a product catalog of several hundred rings, bracelets, chains, pendants, earrings, and gifts that will be unveiled in seasonal collections."
"Artists have always venerated gold, especially the Egyptians who enclosed their royal mummies in massive gold sarcophagi. Gold was thus always treasured for its solar symbolism associated with power and richness, as well as for its protective and timeless value, said Diana Widmaier-Picasso. "I am excited to participate in this inspirational collaboration with my friends Roy Sebag and Sunjoo Moon as Chief Artistic Director of Menē."
"Goldmoney is committed to continuous innovation, thought leadership in precious metals, and building a collaborative global ecosystem around all forms of commodity money. We are thrilled to announce our investment in Menē and support of the tireless work of an incredible team of designers, manufacturers, and software engineers who have invested in the Menē vision," said Goldmoney Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer Josh Crumb. "The Goldmoney board has been unanimous in our support of Roy and Diana's work on Menē, and what we believe the venture will mean for Goldmoney clients, shareholders, and the growth of a broader Goldmoney ecosystem that is solidified by the exclusive relationship agreement developed with Menē. While the venture is at an early stage, Goldmoney has worked hard to strike the appropriate balance between time and investment outlays, while optimizing our exposure to a tangential, but in our view, hugely synergistic relationship between the two client-focused gold entities."
Additional information about Goldmoney's investment in Menē Inc. will be provided in upcoming company presentations and public disclosures, including the potential distribution of Menē Inc. shares to Goldmoney investors.
About Menē Inc.
Menē designs, manufactures, and markets timeless 24 karat gold jewelry that is retailed direct-to-consumer through a transparent, innovative, and empowering online experience. Menē enables customers to buy, sell, and exchange jewelry by weight at the prevailing daily price for gold as quoted on international bullion markets. Menē Inc.'s mission is to revive the ancient tradition of jewelry as a store of enduring value and accessible savings. Sign up to be notified when Menē launches at mene.com.
About Goldmoney Inc.
Goldmoney Inc., a financial service company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:XAU), is a global leader in precious metal investment services and the world's largest precious metals payment network. Safeguarding $1.9 billion in assets for clients located in more than 150 countries, Goldmoney is focused on a singular mission to make precious metals-backed savings accessible to all. Powered by Goldmoney's patented technology, the Goldmoney Holding® is an online account that enables clients to invest, earn, or spend gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that is securely stored in insured vaults in seven countries. All bullion assets are fully allocated and physically redeemable property. Goldmoney Wealth Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) as a Money Services Business. Goldmoney Network is a reporting entity to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the U.S. For more information about Goldmoney, visit goldmoney.com.
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