Florist Bloom & Wild raises $102m to ramp up online business in Europe
London start-up Bloom & Wild has raised £75m ($102m) to expand its flower delivery service across Europe.
The company, which already operates in Ireland, France, Germany and Austria, as well as the UK, will continue to ramp up its online operations through technology, hiring talent and new partnerships.
The funding is being led by General Catalyst, with Index Ventures (which has stakes in Facebook (FB) and Just Eat (JET.L)), Novator, Latitude Ventures, D4 Ventures, and existing investors such as Burda Principal Investments also taking part.
The funding round has put the online florist on track to become the latest UK-based tech unicorn in the coming years.
Aron Gelbard, Bloom & Wild’s co-founder and chief executive, said: “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to continue trading when we know how tough the past nine months or so has been for many.
“It’s been a real joy and privilege to help keep our customers connected with their loved ones when we’ve all been missing being able to see our friends and family.
“We’ve certainly seen strong sales during periods of national restrictions across our markets, but sales have held strong during periods of relatively limited restrictions as we’ve retained new customers and converted many of our new recipients too.”
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Revenues for Bloom & Wild were up a record 160% last year, with some 4 million deliveries of flowers in that period across five countries, making it the company’s first year in profit.
Founded in 2013, Bloom & Wild’s largest markets include France and Germany, where it set up its first foreign fulfilment centre last April.
“Bloom and Wild has infused the traditional flower giving experience with predictive analytics and technology to deliver a fresher, less-travelled bouquet to the people you care most about,” said Adam Valkin, managing director of General Catalyst, in a statement.
“What’s most impressive about Gelbard and his team has been their duality of focus since launch. They’re bringing industry-leading efficiency to the intricate supply chain challenges of flower delivery while simultaneously building a beloved experience that connects with consumers in a remarkably authentic way.”
General Catalyst was the US firm that made early bets on Airbnb (ABNB) and the US-based insurer Lemonade (LMND).
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