Florismart to raise £2.5m to bring a wider range of cut flowers to UK retail

Florismart, a London-based online marketplace for professional florists throughout Europe, is raising a £2.5m funding round.

The round is being led by Beaubridge, an independently-owned and managed private equity firm, which made the EIS investment via CoInvestor. In conjunction with it, Abraham Wijnperle joined as chairman of the board of Florismart. The round is still open on the CoInvestor platform.

This round of funding will allow Florismart to develop the business faster.

Chief executive Steve France runs Florismart, which operates a B2B marketplace for professional florists that brings together exporters, wholesalers, and growers – all on one platform. The platform offers florists the opportunity to have more choice, saving on cost of goods, and the ability to order in advance.

Over past 16 months, the company has opened over 850 florists accounts, of which 30% are actively buying on a regular basis. It is experiencing double digit growth month-on-month.

France said Florismart will turnover a record £1m this week, in the run up to Mothering Sunday, up from £200,000 last year. It will sell to 600 florists and 5% of sales will be British flowers such as daffodils and tulips.

He added that in summer 15-20% of sales will be British flowers, through the FloraBritain group of growers, which includes Sue Lamb, Collison and other larger Lincolnshire growers.

France, who previously worked with Moonpig and Lakeland and ran his own online floristry business before setting up Florismart two years ago, said he wants to bring in more growers, such as Flowers from the Farm, particularly as demand from florists for vintage wedding flowers is strong.

He said the "vast majority of buyers are Dutch so the "vast majority" of the 7,500 UK florists sell Dutch flowers because that is what is made available to them.

France said growers such as Lambs sell direct to supermarkets but FloraBritain and Florismart gives the chance to sell to a wider range of retailers, who like to sell a wider range of flowers than bigger retailers.

He says logistics has always been a problem for UK growers so he has 80 vans using hubs at Northampton, Taunton, Hull, Glasgow and Ashford to collect British flowers and deliver to florists overnight.

France said a £300m a year business includes only 1% British flowers but if it can get to 10-20% it would be great for UK growers. 

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