There’s a field full of flower delivery services to choose from these days from the old school 1-800-flowers and FTD to startups popping up over the last few years like BloomThat, Farmgirl Flowers, UrbanStems and The Bouqs.
That last one just raised $24 million in Series C financing, bringing the total now to $43 million. The Bouqs doesn’t quite roll off the tongue but that fresh new funding puts it at the top of the heap in capital raised among on-demand flower startups.
Like its competitors, the Los Angeles-based outfit delivers Pinterest-worthy bouquets at the click of a button. The difference being The Bouqs gets its supply directly from the farm, cutting out costs from middlemen and bringing you flowers that last longer.
And that strategy has helped push the startup to profitability, at least in Q4 of last year, co-founder John Tabis tells TechCrunch.
So with supposed better margins and a profitable quarter, why the raise? Tabis says the focus isn’t actually on positive cash flow just yet and that last quarter was just a boon.
“We want to build something bigger here and we want to do that quickly,” Tabis said.
The Bouqs is not only taking on digital delivery but the $18 billion U.S. flower retail market, with plans to go global. So, no mystery here, the raise is for the same reason many startups gin up money from investors at this stage — to scale faster.
They’ll need that amount (and more) to take on some of the bigger, more established incumbents mentioned previously. 1800Flowers, for example, brought in a net revenue of $1.2 billion in net revenues last year.
The financing was led by new investor Partech Ventures. Other newbies to the round include NextEquity Partners and Reimagined Ventures. Existing investors Azure Capital Partners, KEC Ventures, Quest Venture Partners, and Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec (who first laughed at the valuation during The Bouqs initial presentation to the Sharks, by the way. So, entrepreneurs, don’t give up hope!).
Tabis also plans to expand the team from 40 to about 75 by the end of the year and says he’s already made some key hires. He’ll also be using the new funding to secure new headquarters in Venice Beach, California and build out predictive analytics for the flower sales biz on the backend.