Barcelona-based Colvin is a technology company that aims to change the way people buy flowers online. The company offers intermediary-free bouquets selected by the company’s floral gurus through an optimised platform to provide better user experience.
In a recent development, the company announced that it has raised €45M in its Series C round of funding.
Investors in this round
The round is led by Paris-based private equity and VC firm Eurazeo. It invests the necessary funds required in SMEs to realise their growth potential. Recently, Eurazeo raised €1.6B in funding to invest in European tech startups.
In addition, the round also saw participation from French VC fund Capagro. The firm invests to accelerate the development of European FoodTech and AgTech companies and facilitates the adoption of innovative solutions for stakeholders in those sectors. It was created in 2014 and has €124M under management.
From B2C to B2B
Colvin is an online flower shop that offers a wide range of bouquets at accessible prices. The company was founded in 2017 by Andrés Cester and Sergi Bastardas.
According to Colvin, it was created as a customer-focused brand (direct to consumer), due to its potential in terms of growth, scalability, and profitability. And now, the company has been working towards transferring all this knowledge to the B2B category aimed at professionals.
Andres Cester, co-founder of Colvin, explains, “Since the very start of Colvin, we have been committed to the disruption of the flower and plant industry. In the past four 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 revitalising the entire industry, starting with flowers and plants, but also in the future with other perishable products.”
Currently, Colvin has a team of over 200 people and operates in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Germany, with operating centres in Barcelona, La Toscana, and Krefeld.
Colvin reports, over the past years, marketplaces in the B2B category have experienced an incredible acceleration. Professionals realised that e-commerce is an opportunity to reach more people, improve supply chain efficiency, offer more competitive prices, and better product quality.
Speaking about Colvin, Chloe Giard, Investment Director at Eurazeo, says, “Colvin 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-dollar market opportunity.”
Colvin itself has accelerated its growth by 200 per cent in 2020 and expects to double sales by the end of 2021. 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.
Since the company’s inception, it has raised approx €70M in funding. Prior to the current round, in June 2020, the company raised €14M in its Series B round of funding. Previous investors such as MIP, P101, and Samaipata remain as current partners of the company.
Expansion in Europe
The raised capital will help the company to scale its B2C and B2B business model in Europe. In addition, the funds will also allow Colvin to invest in technology and its own systems to continue connecting directly with flower and plant growers.
On this development, Sergi Bastardas, co-founder of Colvin, says, “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.”
Colvin will also use the investment to scale its business to new markets in Europe, such as France and increase its headcount by adding over 100 people in the coming months – in the technology, marketing, and operations departments.
Head of People & Happiness at Colvin, Mariona Bosch, says, “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.”