Kuwait-headquartered online flowers and gifting platform Floward has raised $27.5 million in a Series B round led by STV, with participation from Impact 46, it announced in a statement today. The round takes total money raised to date by Floward to over $30 million.
Founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur and investor Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani, Floward sells prime fresh-cut flowers coupled with gifts and other products from local and international brands. The startup that has been expanding aggressively currently operates in 20 cities across the region and beyond, offering same-day delivery for all the orders. It expanded to its first market outside the Middle East in December 2020 with the launch of its platform in London.
Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani told MENAbytes that they will continue to expand in existing markets and launch multiple new cities in the next few months, in addition to starting two new markets. He also said that Floward will also seek organizational excellence going forward and enhance all its internal processes and procedures in order to delight its customers with the best possible gifting experience.
In a statement, he said that the surge in ecommerce penetration due to Covid-19 accelerated the growth of Floward and the startup grew 10x in 2020, “In the first 100 days of 2021, our revenues have surpassed those of the entire year of 2020. We have a clear expansion strategy that follows our own set playbook allowing us to swiftly and seamlessly expand to new markets with the aim to become a major global player in the flowers and gifts industry, with a clear path to positive unit economics and profitability.”
The Kuwaiti entrepreneur who previously led Talabat, which was later acquired by Rocket Internet for $170 million, did not disclose the latest details of Floward’s revenue but in a MENAbytes interview in October 2020, he had revealed that Floward was doing $30 million in annualized (net) revenue.
As we previously wrote in its profile, Floward procures flowers from different parts around the world to have them couriered through airplanes to their facilities twice every week, shoot the arrangements, and push them on their website and app. In addition to its in-house designs, it also works with some renowned designers of the region to create different arrangements and partners with brands to complement its product mix with chocolates, cakes, Arabic sweets, and perfumes.
Commenting on the investment, Abdulaziz said, “Today marks an important milestone of our journey at Floward. We want to partner with like-minded deep-rooted entrepreneurs, creative, determined and bold movers that are willing to change the status quo. We are proud to announce our partnership with STV joined with Impact46 and are confident that this partnership along with Floward’s team will help in marking ourselves as a global player in the flowers and gifts industry.”
STV announcing their investment in Floward in a blogpost wrote, “Our excitement for Floward is inspired by the company’s potential and understanding of GCC consumer trends. Floward today is tapping into two such trends: The first is social gifting, by focusing on both the gift giver and the recipients’ experience. The second is social commerce, by merging eCommerce operations with social media platforms by having influencers and designers create their own designs and sell them on Floward, establishing an income source for their partners. Moving forward, Floward is primed to be an international champion of social gifting.”
Ahmad Al Naimi, a Partner at the firm in a statement, added, “We’re excited to join Floward on their mission to master consumer gifting. They have shown impressive understanding of consumer trends, coupled with perfect execution of the customer experience and supply chain. We’re happy to partner with them as they expand their footprint to new markets and new products.”