BloomThis out to disrupt that florist business
By Lum Ka Kay November 23, 2015
- Bespoke flower arrangements and delivery, with a ‘surprise’ twist
- Lands US$200K seed funding, looking to expand into Singapore
MALAYSIAN startup BloomThis’ mission to drag the traditional florist business into the digital age has found backing in the form of a US$200,000 seed funding round it landed in October.
The funding came from 500 Startups and “angel investors who have built e-commerce startups in Asia Pacific,” according to its founders.
BloomThis is an online luxury flower delivery service founded in April by Giden Lim and his fiancée Penny Choo, with an initial fund of only US$7,044 (RM30,000).
It also participated in the recent MaGIC Accelerator Programme organised by the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC).
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Lim said with the seed funding, BloomThis will look into pushing out daily deliveries instead of weekly ones.
“We will also look into expanding our deliveries to the whole of Malaysia,” he recently told Digital News Asia (DNA) at the MaGIC headquarters in Cyberjaya.
Currently, BloomThis only offers deliveries in the Klang Valley and the northern state of Penang.
It also plans to scale its team size, product range and operations, and expand into Singapore.
READ ALSO: A Better Florist looks to spread love … at scale!
Lim noted that many people subscribe to flower deliveries for their homes and offices.
BloomThis is receiving hundreds of weekly subscriptions and its revenue has grown 600% since inception, he claimed, without giving actual figures.
The genesis for BloomThis goes back to Lim’s own background. He said he grew up in a family that runs a traditional florist business in Penang, and decided to bring the flower business “to the next level” by bringing it online.
“I saw that there was very little innovation in the business model, so I started to think how I could innovate,” he said.
When asked why BloomThis chose to offer only luxury flowers instead of those with prices that would be more attractive to most people, Lim said he was not interested in competing on price.
“Anyone can sell flowers at a very low price, but not everyone can sell luxury flowers, and most importantly, handle them the right way,” he declared.
The idea for BloomThis itself came when Lim went to purchase flowers from suppliers. He noticed that many regular consumers were dropping by just to buy flowers for decoration purposes.
Talking to some of the consumers, he said he discovered that purchasing flowers could sometimes be a painful experience for them.
“Yes, they would love to have flowers at their homes or offices, but it can be very inconvenient for them to head to a supplier to get flowers because they are not good at handling the flowers after they purchase them.
“Some said their flowers were half-wilted on the same day of purchase, because of long [delivery times] without water,” he said.
Lim decided there was a need to take the hassle out of the experience, and to make it even an enjoyable one – by packaging the flowers properly into a box with enough water to ensure they remain fresh.
“From the time that the flowers are imported from the farm to the BloomThis studio where we pack them, till the next day they are delivered – they’re always fresh,” he declared.
The surprise element
BloomThis has one differentiating ace up its sleeve too – the ‘surprise factor.’ According to Lim, customers are not notified what flowers would be selected and delivered to them.
“Consumers can save time thinking about what kind of flowers they want – let us figure it out for you. Just prepare to be surprised every week!” he quipped.
“What we focus on and want to change is that experience that customers get when they receive their flowers.
“Think of the moment when you finally unbox that new tech device you were waiting for, for the longest time – that’s the kind of experience that BloomThis wants to deliver.
“When you unbox your flowers, you find that the flowers you ordered are arranged properly, tied together beautifully with ribbons, with a message card.
“Anyone can deliver normal flowers – but to deliver luxury flowers and [a unique] experience requires a certain amount of effort and work,” he added.
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