Detroit-based online plant store Bloomscape raises $7.5M in VC

DETROIT—Bloomscape, a direct-to-consumer plant company based in downtown Detroit, announced $7.5 million in Series A funding.

Washington, D.C.-based Revolution Ventures led the round with participation from New York City-based Endeavor Global Inc., along with existing investors, and consumer brand founders including 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.

The plant industry has been slow to come online given the complexity of warehousing and shipping living plants and the lack of companies whose supply chains can support an e-commerce offering. Meanwhile, consumer shopping preferences and millennials’ interest in becoming self-proclaimed “plant parents” have driven growth in the $50 billion category, which is still stagnated by the lack of a high-quality online options. Bloomscape is filling the void between big box stores, gardening centers, and nurseries unable to compete online by building a direct-to-consumer brand that leads the field in providing the greatest diversity of plants—from 10-inch aloe plants to five-foot-tall Birds of Paradise—shipped directly from local greenhouses.

Founded by Justin Mast, an entrepreneur who comes from five generations of horticulturalists, Bloomscape aims to provide high plant quality and care support, using proprietary packing and shipping systems to quickly deliver fully potted plants and post-purchase direction and advice. The company’s comprehensive care instructions and free expert advice comes from its Plant Mom platform, powered by Joyce Mast, Justin’s mother, and gives customers the confidence to fulfill the role as proud “plant parents.” Joyce brings over 40 years of horticulture expertise and deep industry knowledge to consumers’ fingertips.

“Growing millennial interest in plants has created significant pent up demand for a reliable online retailer. Bloomscape is meeting that need by offering more than 90 kinds of plants and shipping them to consumers’ front doors from our greenhouses near Grand Rapids, Michigan,” Mast said. “Plants make any space feel more welcoming, but the experience of buying and caring for plants can be daunting. We make it easy for millions of people to select high quality plants that fit any space and lifestyle.”

Bloomscape organizes its inventory by size, level of care required, availability of natural light, and pet-friendliness. This simple and unintimidating experience has garnered a rapidly growing and loyal following, generating millions in sales and the shipment of more than 100,000 plants in just over a year.

“Plants are a highly fragmented, fast growing industry, but the market has been slow to come online—warehousing and shipping living things is hard,” said Clara Sieg, partner at Revolution Ventures. “Drawing on five generations of horticultural experience, Justin and the Bloomscape team combine 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.”

Added Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg: “With high-impact entrepreneurs like Justin building truly innovative companies, we see enormous potential for Detroit’s growing ecosystem and beyond. Bloomscape is one of the youngest companies in Endeavor and we believe their success so far is indicative of more growth to come.”

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