Co-founder Daniel Richards, digital director at Virgin, said the business is yet to generate cash and would look at "value-added services", which could be membership services or working with partners. Retailers are coming to him to hold confidential conversations, he added. "I'm open to speaking to people in the industry. This is a great platform to engage with consumers."
He said the app is the "only social-by-design network in the UK" and makes it easy to connect like-minded gardeners by matching experienced and novice gardeners by information given when joining. His business partner is David Scott, co-founder of Jersey-based Blooming Direct and a serial entrepreneur. Blue Diamond garden centres have a "Plant Doctor" profile on the site, which Richards said shows how garden retail can interact with new customers.
A recent debate at the Barbican in London aimed to discuss how to make gardening appeal to a new audience. Some 200,000 Twitter users saw the debate, while 5,000 people have viewed blogs on the issue at gardentags.com.
Richards said he believes the "way to appeal to a younger audience is visually rich experience". The app is a "social media platform first, then a garden management tool", which sets it apart from other plant-identification apps including PlantSnapp and Shoot. Garden Tags "starts with user behaviour and creates 'talkability' around plants," he added. "The next stage in that journey is to go to the nearest garden centre and buy plants."