UrbanStems raises $6.8M for on-demand flowers

Ronny Kerr · April 26, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/450e

DC-based flower delivery service prides itself on full-time couriers and efficient supply chain

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After you order your on-demand lawn mowing, why not treat yourself to on-demand flowers?

UrbanStems, providing bouquet delivery in Washington, D.C. and New York City, today announced that it has closed a $6.8 million Series A round of funding led by SWaN & Legend Venture Partners with participation from Middleland Capital, NextGen Venture Partners, Interplay Ventures, and Sagamore Ventures.

Headquartered in D.C., the startup had previously raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Sagamore, NextGen Angels, and Middleland.

Orders on UrbanStems start at $35 and go up to $105, with the more expensive orders including double the number of stems. As these are fresh flowers, the bouquets change throughout the year depending on the season. In addition to one-time orders, customers can also purchase a three-month subscription of monthly flower deliveries.

Not only that, but UrbanStems also offers a corporate product for any businesses that want flower arrangements delivered to their offices weekly. Those subscriptions, starting at $32 per week, already count WeWork and JP Morgan among paying customers.

As of today, UrbanStems offers free deliveries in Manhattan (below 125th Street), Brooklyn, Queens, and in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

UrbanStems, as you can likely imagine, isn’t the first company in the world to offer on-demand flower deliveries. Not to mention pre-technology services, today the market has blossomed with a number of flower delivery startups, including BloomNation, bloompop, and The Bouqs. Then there’s San Francisco-based BloomThat, which has raised $7.6 million in venture capital to offer next-day delivery nationwide and same-day deliveries in San Francisco and New York.

I’ve reached out to UrbanStems to see how the company plans to compete with these various existing offerings, and will update if I hear back.

Today it’s bike couriers that carry out UrbanStems deliveries, but if the company ever wants to expand across the nation (as BloomThat has done) it will obviously need to branch out into more traditional shipping services. Unlike other on-demand companies, however, the bike couriers at UrbanStems are not working on a contract basis, but are actually in-house with full benefits.

Additionally, the company prides itself on its “unprecedented, vertically-integrated supply chain,” allowing it to cut costs typically seen in this market. (Supply chain was one of the issues that plauged the just-closed PepperTap, which had stretched itself thin offering on-demand groceries throughout India.)

“From day one, we focused on designing the best possible experience for the customer,” said UrbanStems co-founder Ajay Kori in a prepared statement. “We then worked backwards to figure out how to make margins sustainable, and ended up creating one of the most unique supply chains in the industry.”

UrbanStems says it will use its new funding to continue growing in NYC and DC while also expanding its service to additional U.S. cities, including Baltimore and Philadelphia.

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