Blue Nile (company)

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Blue Nile Inc.
Private company
Traded as NASDAQ: NILE
Industry Retail
Founded 1999
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, USA
Key people
Jason Goldberger, CEO
David Binder, CFO
Products Diamonds & Jewelry
Revenue Increase US$ 480 million (2015)[1]
Increase US$ 16.05 million (2015)[1]
Increase US$ 10.53 million (2015)[1]
Total assets Increase US$ 157.4 million (2015)[1]
Total equity Increase US$ 18.46 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
335 (2016)[2]
Parent Bain Capital
Bow Street LLC

Blue Nile is an online jewelry retailer founded in 1999. It is based in Seattle, Washington and competes with online retailers such as James Allen, Belgium Diamonds, and


The company that became Blue Nile began in 1995 when Doug Williams of Williams & Son Inc. of Seattle started a website to sell diamonds online.[3] Mark C. Vadon, then a management consultant at Bain & Company, purchased a diamond engagement ring from the site in 1998.[3] In 1999, Vadon raised $6 million to purchase 85% of the company and improve the website.[3] The company’s name was changed to Blue Nile in November 1999.[4] During the next year, the company raised an additional $44 million.[3] Investors included Bessemer Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[4] Blue Nile raised $76 million in its IPO on May 18, 2004. Merrill Lynch & Co., Bear Stearns Cos. and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC managed the IPO, sharing fees of $5.4 million.[4] The initial public offering of shares in Blue Nile Inc, rose 39% in first-day trading, closing at $28.40.

Although the company had $44 million in revenue in 2000, it lost $30 million because it spent $40 million in television advertising.[3] Its investors contributed an additional $7 million in 2001.[3] In 2006, Blue Nile sold $197 million in engagement rings and wedding bands, compared to $186 million for Tiffany & Co.[5]

In November 2011, CEO Diane Irvine, who had been with the company for 12 years and its CEO since 2008, abruptly resigned.[6] Irvine was replaced on an interim basis by senior vice president and general manager of international Vijay Talwar.[7] In March 2012, Harvey Kanter, former CEO of MooseJaw, was named the new CEO.[8]

In 2015, Blue Nile reported net sales of US$473 million and net income of US$9.7 million.[1] Blue Nile promotes itself as a supplier of ethically sourced diamonds and endorses a zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds.[9]

In the summer of 2015, Blue Nile opened their first webroom at Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, N.Y., the company plans to open three more webrooms in 2016 at The Westchester mall in White Plains, N.Y., at Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County, Va., and at Washington Square mall outside of Portland.[10]

Blue Nile was designated a Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award winner in 2016.[11]

In June 2017, former Chief Digital Officer of Target, Jason Goldberger, was appointed Blue Nile's CEO. Goldberger also spent time at Gilt Groupe, Hayneedle and Amazon.[12]


Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC acquired Blue Nile in February 2017, for $40.75 per share (approximately $500 million).[13] First announced in November 2016, shares of Blue Nile Inc. rose 34%.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Blue Nile Inc. financials". 
  2. ^ "Blue Nile Inc. SEC Filing 10-K". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rivlin, Gary (January 7, 2007). "When Buying a Diamond Starts With a Mouse". The New York Times. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Blue Nile IPO Raises $76 million". Seattle Post Intelligencer. May 19, 2004. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Barret, Victoria Murphy (October 25, 2007). "The Digital Diamond District". Forbes. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Blue Nile CEO resigns abruptly; 3Q profit falls". Retrieved March 23, 2018. 
  7. ^ Brohan, Mark. "Blue Nile hangs out the "help wanted" sign for a CEO". Internet Retailer. Retrieved January 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Blue Nile names Harvey Kanter new CEO
  9. ^ "Protect your jewelry for all its worth". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  10. ^ Tu, Janet. "Blue Nile reports lower sales and profit". Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  11. ^ "Circle of Excellence Award Winners at BizRate". Bizrate Insights. September 26, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2017. 
  12. ^ Rey, Jason Del (2017-06-08). "Target's former e-commerce chief is now the new CEO of the online jeweler Blue Nile". Recode. Retrieved 2017-06-09. 
  13. ^ "DEFM14A". Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  14. ^ Symington, Steve. "Why Blue Nile Inc. Stock Skyrocketed 34% Today". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 21 March 2017. 

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