Colvin, the technology company dedicated to the floriculture industry, has raised €45M Series C funding to scale its business in Europe and become leaders in the flower and plant sector with its B2C and B2B business model. The operation is led by Eurazeo -which has invested in the leading marketplaces in Europe as Farfetch, Glovo or ManoMano- followed by Capagro who have relied on Colvin’s potential and ambition to disrupt a global industry in the midst of a digital revolution that is expected to reach €120 billion in 2027.
“2020 has been a year of acceleration for Colvin, a turning point that will set the pace for our growth over the coming years. This new funding round will enable us to accelerate the development of technology and logistics-related projects which are currently under progress for the B2B category, in addition to consolidating the company’s growth in the flower and plant online retail sector. Our goal at Colvin is to lead the transformation of the industry at a global level”, states Sergi Bastardas, cofounder of Colvin.
Thanks to this new funding, Colvin will invest in technology and its own systems to continue connecting directly with flowers and plants growers. Colvin will also scale the business to new markets in Europe such as France and will expand the team by adding over 100 people in the coming months, with an emphasis on the technology, marketing, and operations departments.
“For us, the most important aspect is to focus on people. We have recently evolved towards a flexible and remote-first work culture which helps us become more efficient, work with objectives and improve the work-life balance, apart from being able to access global talent in other countries. We have a very ambitious hiring plan – in the coming months we aim to double the size of the tech team to 60 engineers and strengthen different departments with professionals who have experience leading digital companies and wish to join Colvin’s innovative project”, states Mariona Bosch, Head of People & Happiness at Colvin.
From B2C to B2B: Consolidation and growth of e-commerce models
Colvin was created as a customer-focused brand (direct to consumer) and, although this business model is still one of the company’s cornerstones due to its high potential in terms of growth, scalability, and profitability, Colvin has been working on the great opportunity to transfer all this knowledge to the B2B category aimed at professionals.
“Since the very start of Colvin, we have been committed to the disruption of the flower and plant industry. In the past 4 years, we have learned a lot and we have discovered that there is a great opportunity to completely change the market thanks to technology that can make the supply chain more efficient. We would like our platform model at Colvin to become a marketplace for other professionals with the aim of benefiting and revitalizing the entire industry, starting with flowers and plants, but also in the future with other perishable products”, says Andrés Cester, cofounder of Colvin.
Over the past years, marketplaces in the B2B category have experienced an incredible acceleration. Professionals of various industries are changing the way they buy and sell their products thanks to technology and process digitalization, especially in sectors related to perishable products, and they have realized that e-commerce is an opportunity to reach more people, improve supply chain efficiency, offer more competitive prices and better product quality.
“Colvin’s trajectory in the flower delivery market has been outstanding. They have proved they could grow both fast and profitably, while expanding into new geographies. This is only a first step in their ambition to build the future of the flower industry: as more and more B2B categories are switching online (see the recent announcements of Ankorstore, Choco or Sennder), the timing is unique to bring a new standard to the flower wholesale market. Colvin is leveraging years of industry expertise, a scalable supply chain, and a global network of trusted growers to seize this $ billion market opportunity”, states Chloé Giard, Investment Director at Eurazeo.
This past year, the demand for flowers and plants at Colvin has doubled over the previous year, due to the acceleration of e-commerce but also as a means to stay connected to others. During 2020, Colvin shipped over 10 million flowers, doubled the team size to 200 people and opened a division focused on the world of plants: Colvin Jungle. The company ended 2020 with 200% growth year over year and expects to end this year by doubling its turnover.
The company founded in 2017 by Andrés Cester and Sergi Bastardas is the first vertical market that commits to the digitalization of the flower and plant industry with a disruptive model based on the disintermediation of the product and the supply chain. Since its very beginning and after this new capital injection advised by Lazard as the company’s sole financial advisor, Colvin has raised approximately €70 million in funding, with the previous €14M Series B round in June 2020. Existing investors such as Milano Investment Partners SGR, P101, Samaipata and Bynd have also participated in the fundraising and remain as current partners of the company.