The Dutch flower industry still seems booming. Flower subscription service Bloomon, a startup not even a year old, today announced an investment (series A) of 3.5 million euro led by Dutch INKEF Capital.
Also involved in this round were San Francisco-based Partech Ventures and an unnamed capitalist from the flower industry. StartupJuncture spoke to co-founder Patrick Hurenkamp about the deal that, according to him, is “the biggest investment ever for a startup of only eight months old.”
In the beginning of this year the startup announced expansion to Germany. Bloomon now wants to deliver “Dutch quality flowers” to consumers all over Europe. “The goals is to bring at least one million bouquets to houses in the next two years”, says Hurenkamp.
Amsterdam-based Bloomon was founded in November 2014 and secured 1 million euro just weeks after the start. “This was funding from some angel investors to secure a good start”, says Hurenkamp.
The concept is simple: fresh flowers, directly from the breeder and arranged by a stylist, are delivered to your home (without delivery fee) on a weekly or monthly basis for a fixed price. (15-25 euro per bouquet). “Also in the evening, when people are actually home”, promises Hurenkamp.
He founded the company together with Bart Troost. “We both have a background in retail and e-commerce”, says Hurenkamp who was also involved with food service Hello Fresh. “Besides my family is in the flower plantation sector.”
A big sector, as its worth 1 billion euro and the second largest market in Europe after Germany and the UK. “And only one percent of this sector is online”, says Hurenkamp. This is especially true for breeders, as most flower shops offer some services online.
In less than a year Bloomon went from zero to “several thousand” users, without giving details on the exact amount. “We cut out the brokers and focus on product knowledge”, says Hurenkamp. “And our stylists always tell stories about their designs and flowers.”
Hurenkamp says he reached out to investors, but eventually they came to him as well. “We could choose from different parties. In my view it’s very important to find an investor that fits your startup and has the right knowledge.”
The team of the company counts 50 people and is likely to expand. The new investment will mainly be used for growth in Germany and Belgium. “The Bloomon platform is quickly scalable. It’s the logistics that require the most attention”, says Hurenkamp.
Bloomon wants to focus on clients, service and the best possible product, not on competition. “I am not waiting on anyone”, says Hurenkamp who is aware that fast growing involves risks. “We have enough experience in our team to handle growth.”
For other entrepreneurs who want to do the same, Hurenkamp advices not to focus on sales only. “An important driver of our growth is both a good product and a customer-friendly web platform. Things can always be done better.”