Expert Collections containing Bloomon
Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.
Bloomon is included in 1 Expert Collection, including E-Commerce.
Companies that sell goods online (B2C), or enable the selling of goods online via tech solutions (B2B).
Latest Bloomon News
Jun 15, 2022
How Patrick Hurenkamp shook up the market with Bloomon (4 lessons) By Patrick Hurenkamp Koen Thijssen and Bart Troost built Bloomon into a company with more than a hundred employees, went to several countries and convinced investors to invest more than 25 million euros in their flower subscription. You don’t reach those milestones without a few scratches. This resulted in valuable lessons, which Hurenkamp shared last Thursday during How I did it, an interactive event for entrepreneurs at the editorial office of MT/Sprout. Photos: Vincent Vink Brainstorm leads to Bloomon Hurenkamp conceived Bloomon together with Bart Troost and Koen Thijssen, with whom he spent evenings at the kitchen table brainstorming new concepts. It was no coincidence that the choice fell on the flower industry, a world that Hurenkamp already knew to some extent thanks to a family-in-law with flower growers, improvers and florists. He saw a sector with a great deal of knowledge and expertise, but little innovation towards customers. ‘People often sold what sold well in the past. I didn’t find it very inspiring. And the chain behind the flowers, with intermediate steps such as the auction and wholesalers, meant that the flowers were effectively less long in the vase.’ What was clear: for a ‘Silicon Valley’ for flowers, there is no more suitable place than the Netherlands, where billions of euros worth of flowers are traded every year. All those parties coming together here gave us the opportunity to make a difference in that industry. Four challenges Bloomon had to overcome 1. A new, online brand When Bloomon took its first steps in 2014, the online market was still small. Fleurop and Topbloemen were the best known names, but Hurenkamp associated those players mainly with a low-threshold shipping method. And less with a recognizable brand ‘that stood for a certain experience’. For that experience, the founders looked to lifestyle brands in the fashion and interior design sectors. And not the ‘flat kilocalorie bouquets with a mishmash of colors’ in supermarkets and gas stations. They asked growers for new varieties and ‘forgotten’ flowers. Hurenkamp: ‘We were looking for an area of tension between new types of bouquets, but also not so progressive that you cannot ultimately reach a large target group. The founders of Bloomon first tested their concept among friends and family. They asked them if they could deliver a weekly bunch of flowers at a discount in exchange for feedback. The experiences were collected via a closed Facebook group. This way we could refine the product and the service. In the beginning, the founders often delivered themselves. Partly thanks to customers who shared their new woods en masse on Facebook (where you could reach many people relatively easily and cheaply at the time). Within a year, the counter shot 50 to 10,000 subscribers. The Bloomon brand name became synonymous with a certain style, which florists started advertising with. 2. Cutting the chain The usual system of growers, auctions and wholesalers meant that it took too long (about a week) before a bunch of flowers reached someone’s table, Hurenkamp thought. There was a clear opportunity for us to shorten the chain by working directly with growers. But the growers had to change their minds first. While they were used to selling hundreds of thousands of flowers at auction each week, Bloomon had to ‘beg for a few bunches’ at first. We have already tried online sales, growers often told the Bloomon founders. That it still managed to get growers on board, according to Hurenkamp, was partly due to the online track record of the founders and their experience with Hellofresh. With that knowledge, they were able to win over growers with the promise of predictable quantities and prices – instead of an unpredictable auction. 3. Growth capital From the moment Hurenkamp, Troost and Thijssen quit their jobs, (growth) capital became an important mission. Hurenkamp even decided to live on a smaller scale and sold his car, ‘so that we could at least get through the first few months’. More money was needed to hire employees such as a floral stylist and a cto. Just like for marketing. Within their own network, the entrepreneurs raised the first few tons of seed capital. At the back end, the money quickly flew out again. Hurenkamp: “In the beginning we had negative margins, because there was no scale yet. And building an online consumer brand simply means investing heavily. So we had to start fundraising more seriously pretty soon. Looking back, that was the most difficult round, says the entrepreneur. Even though you are growing fast, your turnover is still limited. At the same time, you no longer get away with just a good idea or a strong team. ‘ We had big ambitions right away. Before we knew it, we were operating in five markets. A number of investors who wanted to talk turned out not to want to invest more than a ton. ‘I can understand them,’ says Hurenkamp. ‘As an investor, you want to see a certain maturity and margins. We spent six months building the business with our butts squeezed together, while you see your bank account go to zero.’ Eventually we managed to raise a few million. Large investors in particular expect more professionalization, with a solid board and regular updates. ‘I underestimated how important it is to put a lot of time into that as well.’ 4. Across the border Every growth phase means new challenges. Growers who report that the harvest has been eaten by cows, for example. Or orders that are not delivered. In the beginning you can solve most of it yourself, says Hurenkamp. We chose to invest in a strong team of creatives, data-driven people and engineers in order to grow. As the company grew, we added new layers of management, and started using Google’s OKRs (Objectives and Key Results, ed.) and the Scaling Up method.’ International ambitions were a natural part of this. Before we knew it, we were active in five markets. But while Dutch consumers were already familiar with the concept, Bloomon still had to pioneer across the border. ‘We noticed in Germany, for example, that the costs per customer were twice or sometimes three times as high. It takes more time and money to build up a reputation in the major European markets, not to mention the logistical challenges. It was also the time of Brexit, which made exporting more difficult. By 2018, we were running out of money. A reorganization followed, an office in London had to close. What hurt Hurenkamp the most (still visibly) was laying off employees. ‘Not because they were performing badly, but because it was better for the company. That was a difficult time.’ New role for Patrick Hurenkamp As the number of clients, growers and investors grew, Hurenkamp felt he was becoming more of a stakeholder manager. ‘And that’s maybe not the profession I liked best. After the relaunch he decided to start again a bit from scratch in terms of entrepreneurship, and threw himself into new propositions for new growth within Bloomon. This innovation was deliberately separated from the existing business. After the introduction of new products, including gift bouquets, the company broke even. During the corona period, Bloomon grew to annual sales of 42 million euros. Takeover by Bloom & Wild In recent years, the founders, on the advice of investors, actively talked to competitors. Thanks to those conversations, their company was acquired in 2021 for an undisclosed sum by Bloom & Wild, a British industry peer with sales of more than 100 million British pounds (117 million euros). What would Hurenkamp have done differently with today’s knowledge? Rather, he would have focused and, if necessary, applied the brakes,’ he says. In retrospect, he would have preferred to conquer ‘just’ one of the major foreign markets at a time .
Bloomon Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Bloomon founded?
Bloomon was founded in 2014.
Where is Bloomon's headquarters?
Bloomon's headquarters is located at Helmholtzstraat 61e, Amsterdam.
What is Bloomon's latest funding round?
Bloomon's latest funding round is Acquired.
How much did Bloomon raise?
Bloomon raised a total of $35.16M.
Who are the investors of Bloomon?
Investors of Bloomon include Bloom & Wild, Rabobank, INKEF Capital, Partech Partners and Fortino Capital.