BloomNation, a three year-old company that thinks flower shopping should be just as easy as shopping anywhere online, announced $5.55 million in a new round of funding.
BloomNation wants to help both florists and customers at the same time. For customers, BloomNation’s marketplace lets them shop from more than 3,000 florists nationwide for the best offering to suit their needs.
“We kind of see ourselves like an ‘Etsy but for flowers,’” said co-founder Farbod Shoraka in an interview with VentureBeat. “[It] kind of recreates the experience of walking through the store but online.”
On the florist side, BloomNation offers a suite of tools to help flower sellers manage their business online, including creating a website for their business, managing orders, keeping their customers up-to-date, point-of-sale tools, analytics, and more. Its BloomSnap app, for example, enables florists to take a picture and send it to the customer to give them an update on how their order looks, or send a heads-up when the delivery person is on their way.
Moreover, unlike competing flower brokers such a 1800Flowers, BloomNation lets the businesses market their own brand and build a customer base.
BloomNation takes a ten percent cut of whatever florists sell through its platform, whether the sale came through BloomNation’s marketplace or the florist’s website that it powers. It says that’s lower than the commissions other brokers take.
With its new funds, the company plans to expand its teams, and release a mobile app and a dedicated section to weddings and events in the next nine months, Shoraka said.
“As a bride, it’s really hard to go and find that right florist. As a consumer, you’re not really able to see what kind of work they do,” said Shoraka.
The new section will feature florists that offer flower arrangements for weddings or events, where brides and other customers can easily shop for their events efficiently.
Ronny Conway led this new round, with additional participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, Chicago Ventures, CrunchFund, and Mucker Capital.
BloomNation was founded in 2011 by Farbod Shoraka and David Daneshgar, and is based in Los Angeles. The company previously raised $1.65 million in seed funding.