Floom, online marketplace for florists, receives $2.5 million

Floom, an online marketplace that sells the products of independent florists, has raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by firstminute capital. The London-based company has expanded across the UK and already branched into New York, LA and San Francisco. The new investment will allow the start-up to continue its expansion into four new US cities and one new country. It has also released plans to develop a tech offering which includes software for florists.

Founded by 31-year-old entrepreneur Lana Elie in 2016, whose background lies in digital content creation for the likes of Gucci and Prada, Floom is a curated marketplace for independent florists similar to the concept of JustEat. Carlos Morgado, former CTO of JustEat, is one of the new investors to recently join Floom’s board.

The £2 million investment comes from a venture capital-led funding round by firstminute capital with Henry Lane-Fox as the lead. Firstminute capital’s $100m seed fund is backed by 30 unicorn founders and global strategics. Additional investors include Tom Singh, the founder of New Look, Pembroke VCT, Wing Chan, CTO digital experiences of The Hut Group.

Alongside expansion, the funding will also be used to develop a vertically integrated Software as a Service (SaaS) for the floristry industry. Reports say the technology will give independent florists “everything they need to reach customers, from inventory management and a wholesale shop, to website builders and POS systems – as well as preparing for seasonal peaks with trend data e.g. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.”

A report in Retail Times claims, “The industry, which is worth $105 billion globally, has witnessed a 7% year-on-year growth, with 84% customers saying they will spend more on skilfully arranged, hand delivered flowers from a florist.”

Floom’s revenue has increased by 463% over the past 12 months and the company is projecting £5 million in sales for 2019.

Lana Elie, founder and CEO of Floom, said: “Achieving this seed funding is a huge achievement for us, and we’re delighted to get backing from so many experts in building tech-backed lifestyle brands. We’re really excited about developing the technology required to help not only independent florists, but also eventually other hyper-local businesses, thrive in the modern economy.”

Henry Lane Fox, lead investor from firstminute capital, said: “After finding product/market fit with its B2C marketplace, Floom is now perfectly positioned to act on Lana’s vision and build their B2B SaaS solution for its florist partners. Lana’s business model is a prime example of a “market network”; combining a marketplace, a direct network, and the lucrative revenue model and stickiness of SaaS. With her relentlessness and ability to speak the language of wholesalers, florists and end consumers alike, we believe Lana will put her mark not only on the cut flower market, but the industry as a whole.”

Carlos Morgado, former CTO of Just Eat, who is joining Floom’s board, said: “I’m really looking forward to joining the board and working alongside Floom’s passionate team. Like them, I think floristry has huge digital potential, particularly as it’s a largely traditional marketplace. Floom is creating technology that perfectly complements the creative focus of independent florists, so I’m excited to be part of their transformation journey. I’m looking forward to finding another unicorn, this time among flowers.”

Image: Floom