Wamda, the Middle East region's leading startup ecosystem enabler, has co-led a $3 million Series A round with Global Ventures in business-to-business (B2B) online floral marketplace, Floranow. The round includes previous investors Dash Ventures, Jabbar Internet Group, as well as new investors Sirocco Holdings, Adamtech Ventures, Zuaiter Holding Capital, HB Investments and angel investors.
This is Wamda's second investment in the company, having participated in its first funding round in 2017.
Founded in 2016 by Charif Mzayek, UAE-based Floranow connects horticulturists and suppliers from across the globe directly to flower retailers through its online B2B marketplace.
This latest round of funding will be used to support Floranow's growth in Kuwait and further its expansion into the GCC, starting with Saudi Arabia. The company will also focus on optimising its proprietary marketplace technology.
Through its platform, Floranow disintermediates the marketplace for horticultural produce and minimises the variability in demand for florists, effectively bypassing multiple layers of a costly, and at times, inefficient supply chain.
"Charif is an industry veteran with deep knowledge of the sector and through Floranow, he and his team have built a robust digital B2B supply chain and logistics infrastructure that is poised to reshape the floral retail industry," said Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman at Wamda.
Speaking about the company’s growth potential, founder Charif Mzayek said: “We are very excited to close this round that will support our efforts to build a global marketplace linking growers to buyers across the floral industry. We continue to expand our network of partners from China to Colombia and Holland to Kenya, digitising and optimising supply chains and creating value for all stakeholders involved.”
According to data from United Nations Comtrade, the International Trade Statistics Database, imports of cut flowers were worth $124 million across the GCC in 2017, a 65 per cent increase from $75 million in 2010.
Since its inception, Floranow has more than 12,000 articles on its marketplace and has successfully added hundreds of growers from around the world, including Colombia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The company had previously raised its first round of financing from Jabbar Internet Group, Dash Ventures, and Wamda back in December 2017.