Colvin, the company that is leading the revolution in the flower and plant sector by creating the first network without intermediaries in the industry, has closed a Series B financing round worth €14M. The operation is led by the Italian investment fund Milano Investment Partners (MIP) and together with P101 sgr and Samaipata –all of them former partners of the company– have once again placed their trust in Colvin’s growth potential and consolidation in the European market, as well as in its power to change a traditional sector that is ready to innovate.
This new investment will enable Colvin to expand its teams dedicated to technology and business with the purpose of consolidating the change of a sector worth €100 billion a year. Furthermore, Colvin will reinforce brand penetration in existing markets, mainly in Germany, and expand in the plant category.
“Currently, 65% of the global flower and plant tradegoes through the Dutch auction, a highly fragmented traditional model, which eventually has an impact on the price and quality of the product. At Colvin we seek to improve the sector starting from the ground up and this new financing round will allow us to consolidate the flower sale and purchase model without intermediaries. We will do so by investing in technology that enables to digitalise processes and optimise operations from the producer to any purchaser”, states Andrés Cester, CEO and Co-founder of Colvin.
Flowers and plants: a growing industry
The company’s growth in recent months has highlighted that the business model presented by Colvin is solid. Since its inception in 2017, the company has been working in a disruptive project that aims to achieve the disintermediation of the sector from beginning to end–from farmers to online sales–. The main goal is to achieve greater supply efficiency, more competitive prices and, especially, better product quality. So far this year, Colvin’s global sales have increased fourfold compared to the same period last year, evenreaching delivery volumes worth €1M in a single day.
This positive trend is still sustained and is predicted to be a year of growth. This shows a solid change in the consumption trend of users looking for digital solutions to buy and send flowers to keep in touch with their loved ones. The global sector is expected to reach a value of €120 billion by 2027.
In recent months, the cut flower sector has been hit hard with losses estimated to reach $1.5 billion. This situation reinforces the importance of the need for change; not just a change in the consumption model, but also in the sector itself. A change that starts from the very foundations and seeks digitalisation, reduction of intermediaries and optimisation of the supply chain to achieve greater proximity and quality of the product. This represents a step forward for the sector as a whole in which Colvin has been working for some time.
A stand on leading the positive change
One of Colvin’s core values is to proactively embrace, identify and anticipate changes. The experience of the past months has accelerated a process of change in the way of working: being physically present does not mean being successful. Therefore, aware of the value that people generate and having mind the need to evolve, Colvin’s team has decided to lead this change in the company’s philosophy. They have implemented a model consisting completely of remote work which focuses on goals and is based on work-life balance and individual flexibility.
This new initiative allows Colvin’s team to attract the best talent from anywhere in the world who wishes to join an ambitious growth project where location is not a barrier. Thanks to this new capital investment, Colvin’s team expects to increase its current staff of 115 employees by 20%.
“Colvin arises from the change. We chose the name Claudette Colvin, the first African American woman who stood up to defend the human rights of African Americans in the USA. This representation of Claudette, a change in society, gives us the strength and meaning to keep working to improve people’s lives in our community, upgrading producers’ lives and creating happy moments in our users’ homes thanks to our products while staying in touch with their loved ones in a special way”, said Sergi Bastardas, COO and Co-founder of Colvin.
The online flower delivery start-up was founded in 2017 by Sergi Bastardas, Andrés Cester and Marc Olmedillo and is the first vertical market that has bet on digitalising the flowers and plants sector in Europe, through a disruptive model based on the disintermediation of the product and the supply chain. Since its very beginning and after this new capital injection, Colvin has raised a total of €24M in funding that will help the brand continue improving and digitalising the sector, as well as expanding in Spain, Italy and Germany and in the plant sector.