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FlorAccess, a Dutch purchasing B2B e-commerce platform for wholesale and garden centers raised €750,000 for European expansion. Inspired by the business model of Airbnb and Uber, two US-based startups that have disrupted their respective industries, FlorAccess will use the growth capital to scale operations and for further expansion in this region.
Unlike its competitors, FlorAccess does not maintain any stock. It benefits the startup dually. First, the strategy helps to keep its operating cost low, and secondly, its customers freshest quality of products. It appears product and service quality has helped FlorAccess expand and grow quickly.
I talked to Ewoud Goorts, founder, and CEO of FlorAcces to understand what got him going into this niche and how things are going for the growing Dutch startup.
What inspired you to join this startup? How did FlorAccess get to where it is today?
We started the company because I found the supply chain in this traditional industry consisted of too many players. The main inspiration behind FlorAccess wAirbnbBnb and Alibaba to form an online B2B platform cutting out unnecessary players in the middle.
What’s most exciting thing about the traction in Europe? How do you see the floriculture market in parts of Europe other than Netherlands?
As trade in Europe is mainly dominated by the Dutch, it is exciting to see that our platform enables growers and buyers to trade directly, bypassing the traditional supply chain. At the moment, most of our suppliers are based in the Netherlands. However, we are experimenting with suppliers in other European countries and this leads to very interesting orders.
Recently we had a French buyer for plants located at a Danish breeder, we shipped the products straight from Denmark to France. This, for us, is very exciting. In a more traditional supply-chain, the products would have been brought to the Netherlands first, going through various hubs and warehouses, before being sold and shipped to France.
Tell us something about the most important thing FlorAccess is working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
At FlorAccess we focus solely on delivering high quality service to professional buyers at wholesalers, garden centers, and cash & carries. All our services are aimed to make their lives easier.
To achieve this, we spend a lot of time improving our platform. We do this, firstly, by technical enhancements: we constantly add new features and improve usability for our users. Secondly, we keep updating our databases with new products, new breeders, and new logistical routes. All these updates allow us to offer an ever-increasing level of service, whilst saving ourselves more and more time by automatization.
How do you think FlorAccess is making a change towards the life of people?
FlorAccess only targets the B2B market, changing the way professional buyers purchase their products. We change the way business is done in the traditional floriculture industry by cutting out the ‘man in the middle’.
What are the biggest threats and challenges? Who are the competitions in Europe and how FlorAccess plans to deal with it?
None of our competitors have a strong digital product and conduct business the way it has always been done, offline.
Do you plan to expand product range and how big of a market is it?
We’re strongly focussing on our current markets for the next 5+ years with a selected product range of around 1500 items. Total market within the EU is over 2 billion EUR.
Where do you see the startup in next 5 years?
Within a few years from now FlorAccess will be a household name within the industry, enabling professionals to do their purchasing frictionless and at a very competitive rate.
A Climate-KIC Startup
FlorAccess, founded in 2011 is a Climate-KIC startup, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change. FlorAccess aims to connect horticulture buyers and suppliers worldwide with an online purchasing platform. Tom Hogewind, the startup’s CTO, while talking to Startup Delta emphasized the same principles as echoed by his founding partner Ewoud.
“Our technology allows customers to find products in milliseconds. Our main goal, however, is to provide a simple and user-friendly way to find and buy the best products. The whole order process, from product-search to aftercare, is handled in a way that people are accustomed to in modern consumer webshops,” said Tom.