Direct-to-consumer plant retailer Bloomscape has raised $7.5 million in Series A funding, with several high-profile D2C startup founders signing on as investors.
Founder and CEO Justin Mast told me that his family has five generations of experience as greenhouse owners and operators, and that he first tried to get Bloomscape off the ground more than a decade ago. Since then, Mast has worked at other startups, but he said, “Bloomscape was the one that got away. I would find myself dreaming about it.”
The current version of the startup launched just over a year ago, and has shipped more than 100,000 plants since then. The company is headquartered in Detroit, and ships plants from its greenhouses near Grand Rapids, Mich.
When asked what’s wrong with the existing brick-and-mortar plant-buying process, Mast said convenience is a big factor, particularly once you start talking about plants that are too big to carry in one hand — he said Bloomscape’s packing and shipping methods can accommodate everything from a 10-inch aloe plant to a five-foot bird of paradise.
Bloomscape also helps people care for their plants through its Plant Mom service, allowing customers to ask for advice from an expert. The Plant Mom is, in fact, Mast’s mother Joyce, who has more than 40 years of horticulture experience.
Mast said the service is designed to replicate his own experience texting his Mom for help when his plants weren’t doing well: “We wanted to figure out how to do this in a way that didn’t feel like tech support, that actually felt convenient, warm and helpful.” (Bloomscape has since hired other experts to support her.)
Mast added that he sees the free service as “this tremendous opportunity to create value,” particularly since “people who feel confident that they’re going to be able to keep their plants alive go and buy more plants.”
Ultimately, Mast’s vision is for Bloomscape to be involved in “plant life in every area of the home and garden.”
The new round was led by Revolution Ventures, with participation from Endeavor, as well as Allbirds co-founder Joey Zwillinger, Away co-founder Jen Rubio, Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz, Harry’s co-founder Jeff Raider, Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever and Warby Parker co-founders Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa.
“Plants are a highly fragmented, fast growing industry, but the market has been slow to come online – warehousing and shipping living things is hard,” Revolution Ventures partner Clara Sieg said in a statement. “Drawing on five generations of horticultural experience, Justin and the Bloomscape team combines the ease of e-commerce with care and maintenance resources in a beautifully branded, consumer-centric experience that empowers even the least green thumbed among us to be successful plant parents.”