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Justin Mast started the company in late March 2018. He comes from five generations of horticulturalists on his father’s side (his parents met at a business meeting between families), and is taking his passion for plants to the next level, bringing on a new group of investors for the Series B.
Led by General Catalyst, the new funding gives Detroit-based Bloomscape a total of $24 million in investments raised in two years. Bob Mylod, Jeff Boyd and John Replogle also contributed to the round that included participation from existing investors including Revolution Ventures and Ludlow Ventures.
Bloomscape’s Series A was led by Revolution, which Mast said has made an art of finding startup value off the coasts. This time around, with the company growing the way it is–4 times year over year and doubling its team–Mast wants to keep the same kind of spirit the previous group of investors brought, and add in investors who saw Bloomscape’s potential for high-value growth.
“For me, as a founder, I am paying attention to who we are taking on as partners as we grow the business,” Mast told Crunchbase News. “General Catalyst has an amazing reputation, and we were looking for someone to partner with us and help with the next stage of growth. I think with Bob at Annox Capital, we have someone who is a real company builder. These are folks taking companies from our size to going public, and this is an area where we will be getting a ton of great experience.”
Poised for growth
In addition to the new round of funding, the company announced the acquisition of plant care app Vera, which provides tips and content, troubleshooting, watering reminders and more, for an undisclosed amount. Renamed Vera by Bloomscape, the line of care products is one area in which Bloomscape plans to grow and invest some of the new funding, Mast said.
In addition to growing Vera, the company intends to use the new capital to add to its team, build out its distribution model and expand product offerings, such as its new Edible Garden Shop that offers small tomato, lavender, sweet pepper, hot pepper, kale mix, mint and chamomile plants.
Bloomscape also plans to expand into the outdoor plant category next year, joining the retail lawn and garden segment of the market. Valued at more than $50 billion in the U.S. alone, that sector is dominated by box stores, Mast said.
“We are trying to reinvent the garden center for a new generation of gardeners and set plant parents up for success,” he added. “We are also looking to carve out a new space, targeting consumers 30 years of age and older, and we have a long way to go.”
Over the next 18 months, he expects to continue investing in the back-end end supply chain infrastructure, including expanding the shopping network and adding regional greenhouses and shopping locations.
“Right now, we are running everything through our facility in Michigan, and that gives us two-day shipping to a big chunk of the country. But for the South and West, regional shipping locations will help us provide the same service to those areas,” he added.
What investors are saying
As part of the investment, Joel Cutler, co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst, as well as Mylod, will join Bloomscape’s board of directors.
“You’d be hard pressed to find a team that understands a consumer vertical better than Bloomscape does with home gardening,” Cutler said in a statement. “The team has found not just excellence in the complicated logistics of cultivating and shipping live plants nationwide, but also a strong resonance with today’s consumer who’s looking to green up their living spaces.”
Photo credit: Bloomscape
Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman