The Bouqs Co-founder and CEO John Tabis said the company is moving into the Japanese market as part of its international expansion plans. Japan was a good fit for its first foray abroad, Tabis told TechCrunch on Thursday (Jan. 30).
“There’ve been four or five other startups that tried something similar — some of them no longer exist,” Tabis said. “But the thing that’s worked for us, the first is the way that we’ve sourced is unique and it’s really the foundation of our brand.”
The new funds will also be used to advance the startup’s move into physical stores and the wedding business, Tabis told TechCrunch.
The firm is also planning a subscription business so customers have new blooms when the old bunch dies.
“It’s sort of the linchpin of our business that’s grown very nicely…expanding both our revenue and profitability,” Tabis said.
What sets The Bouqs apart from other flower delivery startups is its transparent, farm-direct supply chain. The firm’s approach delivers longer-lasting blossoms while leaving the middlemen out of the picture.
The new funding round brings its total to $74 million so far, the highest amount raised of its startup peers like Washington, D.C.’s Urban Stems, which raised $27 million to date, and Silicon Valley’s BloomThat, which raised 7.7 million and was acquired by FTD in 2018.
“This financing will enable us to fully realize our vision to create a global network of top-quality farms paired with a category-defining local floral brand enabled by proprietary supply chain technology and vertically integrated sourcing capabilities. We’re so excited for this next phase of the business, and all of the opportunities that lie ahead,” Tabis said.
The Bouqs launched aiming to disrupt a well-established industry that consumers were used to dealing with. The company’s Co-founder Juan Pablo Montúfar grew up on his family’s flower farm in Ecuador. He is a biochemist who runs a growing operation in Ecuador, a global powerhouse for flower supply, along with Columbia.
Tabis, who focuses on brand and strategy for the business, said he views The Bouqs as a tech company more than anything else.