Bloom & Wild, Europe’s largest and fastest growing online flower delivery and gifting platform, has raised a £75m Series D funding round as it looks to accelerate its rapid expansion across Europe. General Catalyst led the round, joined by Index Ventures, with participation from Novator, Latitude Ventures, D4 Ventures (established by Hanzade Dogan), and existing investors including Burda Principal Investments.
Bloom & Wild was founded in 2013 to reimagine the flower category. There are over a billion flower purchases globally each year and customer satisfaction scores across the industry are low as a result of high prices, unreliable quality and limited differentiation. The company, which pioneered letterbox flower delivery, seeks to redefine the industry through a devotion to customer delight, innovation in supply chain, and investment in technology, data science and new product development.
In doing so, Bloom & Wild has step changed the experience of sending flowers by offering consistently high quality, reasonable pricing and a seamless digital purchase experience, making sending and receiving flowers the joy that it should be. Where the typical NPS score for an Online Flower platform is 12%, Bloom & Wild achieves 85%+ NPS in their core UK market. Bloom & Wild’s enthusiastic customer base also bucks the trend, with its customers using the brand to show their care all year round, beyond just the big calendar occasions like Mother’s Day.
The London-based business has seen exceptionally strong performance in 2020, growing revenue by 160% vs 2019, leading to its first profitable year. The company fulfilled over 4 million deliveries across 5 European countries including large markets such as France and Germany to keep loved-ones connected throughout 2020. In fact, 2020 saw more deliveries made by the company than in all previous years combined.
This growth has been driven by a team of almost 150 people including more than 50 who joined in 2020, all onboarded remotely as the head office team worked from home. Notably, in the company’s first C-level hire in 5 years, Bloom & Wild welcomed Marta Jasinska to the brand new role of CTO in October 2020 to oversee the company’s plans to materially scale up over the next 2 years.
Aron Gelbard, Co-Founder & CEO, Bloom & Wild said: “We've been extremely fortunate in 2020 to accelerate our growth, strengthening our expertise in technology-enabled, customer-centric flower gifting. We're privileged to have played our part in keeping people connected in this difficult period, and I’m proud of our growing team for scaling our operations whilst maintaining the signature thought and care we put into every order. With this new backing from General Catalyst and Index we start 2021 with renewed energy to pursue our vision of becoming the world's leading and most loved flower company. “
Aiming to become the pan-European market leader, the company continued its expansion into additional European markets and added bricks and mortar retail to its roster for the UK. The retail partnership with Sainsbury’s sees an exclusive range of premium bouquets available in selected superstores nationwide.
Alongside geographic and channel expansion, the business is focused on broadening and enhancing its range of products and services to better serve customers’ needs and build shopping missions outside the traditional flower industry peaks. In 2020 the range was expanded to include large Christmas trees, dried flowers and an updated floral subscription service which offers a customisable experience.
In 2020, Bloom & Wild launched a new creative platform, Care Wildly. This followed the launch of the Thoughtful Marketing Movement to promote industry change in the way businesses advertise around sensitive occasions, like Mother’s Day. 2020 also saw Bloom & Wild increase its charity donations throughout the year. The company donated 15% of profits from the ‘Our Florist’s Pick’ bouquets to the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal as well as offering over £2m in discounts to front line workers. A new annual partnership with Carers Trust aims to raise awareness of and support for the seven million unpaid carers in the UK.
In the supply chain, recent innovations have led to improved operational efficiency, with the business moving more of its production closer to the source of its flowers, embedding data science principles in its forecasting methodology and programmatically growing flowers according to predicted demand. In April, the business opened its first own fulfilment centre in Germany with set up turned around in just 16 weeks.
Further innovations have helped the company in working towards 100% recyclable packaging, reducing single-use plastic and polyester by over 60,000 kg this year. In its first sustainability report, Bloom & Wild announced it is now offsetting emissions to be carbon neutral, and committed to reducing emissions further and maintaining zero waste to landfill.
The latest investment is the fourth round of institutional funding for Bloom & Wild following rounds led by MMC Ventures, Burda Principal Investments and Piper (who remain shareholders).
“Bloom & 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, General Catalyst. “What’s most impressive about Aron 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.”
Martin Mignot, Partner at Index Ventures said “Bloom & Wild team have reinvented every aspect of flower delivery and gifting, challenging the status quo at every stage. Through relentless execution, Aron and his team have created a delightful experience for customers, becoming the fastest growing flower business in Europe. We’re thrilled to partner with them as they scale internationally.”
The funding will further finance the company’s ambitious expansion strategy and investment into scaling its solution-led technology as it looks to pursue additional growth opportunities to consolidate its leadership position in the European flower market.
About Bloom & Wild:
Bloom & Wild uses technology, AI, supply chain and product innovation to make sending and receiving flowers the joy it should be for both the sender and the recipient. They are Europe’s leading and fastest growing D2C flower scale-up, active across multiple European markets. They have made over 8 million deliveries to date and are growing over 160% year-on-year. Since launching in 2013, Bloom & Wild has raised multiple rounds of venture capital and private equity funding, have been named one of the five fastest growing tech companies in Europe and are alumni of Tech Nation’s Future Fifty. They are also one of the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Small Companies to Work For’ 2020.
Published — Jan. 18, 2021