Floom, a digital marketplace which connects independent florists with customers, has raised £2 million in a seed funding.
The round was led by firstminute capital with Henry Lane-Fox as the lead.
Other investors include Tom Singh, the founder of New Look; Pembroke VCT; Wing Chan, CTO digital experiences of The Hut Group; and Carlos Morgado, former CTO of Just Eat, who also joins Floom’s board.
Founded by 31-year-old entrepreneur Lana Elie in 2016, Floom claims to be the only curated marketplace of its kind for independent florists, allowing them to create and deliver bouquets to a global network of customers in over 125 countries.
“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,” said Elie.
“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.”
The funding will allow Floom to continue its expansion to four new US cities and a new country in 2019.
The start-up also plans to develop the first integrated software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for the $105 billion global florist industry.
It will empower independent players, who often lack the eCommerce expertise and financial means to achieve market share.
As part of the investment round, Just Eat’s former CTO Carlos Morgado is joining Floom’s board. He said: “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.”
Henry Lane Fox added: “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.”
Since launching in February 2016, Floom has been voted one of the top UK 100 start-ups two years in a row. The company’s revenue has increased by 463 per cent over the last 12 months and is now projecting sales of £5 million in 2019.