Wamda, an established startup ecosystem supporter in the Middle East, recently co-led a $3 million Series A investment round with Global Ventures in Floranow, a business-to-business (B2B) online floral marketplace. Existing investors including Dash Ventures, Jabbar Internet Group, and new investors Sirocco Holdings, Adamtech Ventures, Zuaiter Holding Capital, HB Investments and several angel investors also took part in the round.
This is notably Wamda’s second investment in the Floranow, after having contributed to its first round in 2017.
Established in 2016 by Charif Mzayek, UAE-headquartered Floranow helps to connect horticulturists and suppliers from all over the world directly to flower retailers via its online B2B marketplace.
The capital raised will be used to further expand Floranow’s business operations in Kuwait and also into the GCC region, beginning with Saudi Arabia. The company says it aims to further enhance its proprietary marketplace technology.
Floranow uses its platform to disintermediate the marketplace for horticultural produce and aims to reduce the market variability in demand for florists, which bypasses several layers of expensive and inefficient supply chain processes, the company claims.
Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman at Wamda, stated:
“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.”
Wamda founder Charif Mzayek noted:
“This round 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, digitizing and optimizing supply chains and creating value for all stakeholders involved.”
Data from the United Nations Comtrade, the International Trade Statistics Database, shows that imports of cut flowers were valued at $124 million across the GCC in 2017, which represents a 65% increase from only $75 million in 2010.
Floranow has over 12,000 articles on its marketplace and has added hundreds of growers from across the globe, including those from Colombia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
In December 2017, the company raised its first round of funding from Jabbar Internet Group, Dash Ventures, and Wamda.