Sending flowers is a time-honored way of letting someone know that you’re thinking of them. It’s a tangible way to create a warm, shared experience even when you’re apart. Right now, society has been digitally connected but physically distant like never before. People are craving physical experiences. And while e-commerce lets you gift just about any physical good to someone you care about, there’s something especially lovely about receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers.
The Timeless Nature of Flowers
Flowers have been a symbolic item for quite literally thousands of years. It is widely believed that the Egyptians were among the first in recorded history to arrange flowers back in 2800 BCE. Not so different from today’s society, they arranged cut flowers in vases for casual use such as house decorations and sacred occasions such as religious burials. The ancient Greeks, the Romans, and almost every civilization since then have continued to use flowers for a wide range of decorative, medicinal, and religious purposes.
The State of Online Flower Delivery Today
Today, in Europe, it is estimated ~$20B+ is spent on flowers each year, less than 10% through online channels. The handful of decades-old platforms that have dominated the online delivery market are increasingly reliant on a few key holidays (i.e., Valentines and Mother’s Day) to drive sales. The typical NPS score for an online flower platform is -2%, showing the modern consumer experience’s brokenness. This poor consumer experience can largely be attributed to the dominance of the wire service model (which is named as such because it was pioneered in the early 1900s when vendors used telegrams to communicate). In today’s wire service model, an online platform will aggregate a large network of local florists and send them orders to fulfill and deliver once an order is placed through their website. This reliance on decentralized inventory and a long supply chain will not uncommonly result in high prices, poor flower quality, canceled orders, and unmet consumer expectations.
We believe a digitally native, customer-obsessed flower gifting platform can encourage customers to buy flowers outside the core holidays, growing the category and ensuring flowers are the joy they should be.
Aron Gelbard, Co-Founder and CEO of Bloom & Wild
Introducing Bloom & Wild
A highly sentimental category, such as flower delivery, deserves a highly satisfactory consumer experience. In 2013, CEO / Co-Founder Aron Gelbard launched the Bloom & Wild platform in the UK with the vision to make purchasing flowers the joy it should be. From the beginning, Bloom & Wild has been built fundamentally different from the decades-old incumbents who have dominated the market.
First, the company invested in building out a tech-driven product team to create proprietary AI tools that automate demand forecasting and merchandising, minimizing wastage and maximizing customer selection. Second, they centralized their supply chain to more sustainably sourced flowers from Kenya and Europe, ensuring that they have year-round access to fresh, seasonal stems.
These investments in procurement, supply chain, and backend infrastructure combined with the company’s steadfast commitment to core values such as sustainability, ethical sourcing, and most importantly, customer delight have resulted in an experience that their consumers swear by, as evidenced by their 85%+ NPS in their core UK market. This level of customer love isn’t just strong for the flower category. To put this into perspective, if Bloom & Wild’s NPS were compared to the Fortune 500, they would rank 1st ahead of beloved brands such as Costco and Starbucks.
Our Partnership with B&W
Today, we are happy to formally announce our partnership with Bloom & Wild by leading their Series D financing alongside world-class partners such as Index Ventures, Latitude Ventures, D4 Ventures (established by Hanzade Dogan), and Novator. Concurrent with today’s funding announcement, GC XIR Jonathan Klein, who has led global brands such as Getty Images, Etsy, Squarespace, and Jumia, will become chairman of the board and GC’s Adam Valkin will join the board of directors. With Bloom & Wild and our existing portfolio companies such as Deliveroo, Cazoo, Monzo and others, we’re privileged to continue to support some of The UK’s leading internet companies.
Lastly and most importantly, thank you to Aron and the Bloom & Wild team for bringing us along on your adventure to build the world’s most beloved flower delivery brand. Together, we’re excited to scale the Bloom & Wild platform across all of Europe while continuing to delight customers one bouquet at a time.
-Adam, Johnson, & Team GC