Belfast-based start-up Yours Florally is to receive seed funding from Lough Shore Investments and angel investor Stephen Lusty as the company prepares to expand into the UK market in 2013.
Founded last year, Yours Florally is an integrated SaaS and e-commerce platform for the flower-selling industry. Customers shop online for the bouquets and flower arrangements they want and orders are fulfilled by a hand-picked network of local suppliers.
“The attraction of Yours Florally was in their ability to disrupt what is clearly a broken industry dominated by a small number of very traditional network operators who are focused on ‘bricks-and-mortar’ stores approach,” said Danny Moore, founder of Lough Shore Investments.
“Previously, in order to remain competitive, local traders were forced to join these larger networks and agree to the often onerous demands that came with them. From our very first conversation with Yours Florally, it was obvious that they could put the power back in the hands of these disenfranchised local traders while offering them an online platform to compete in what is a $7bn per annum market. It’s a credible, more innovative network alternative at a fraction of the cost,” he added.
In the seed round, Lough Shore Investments is joined by Belfast-based Lusty, former European head of sales and operations for Google.
The timely announcement comes ahead of a busy period for Yours Florally with Mothers’ Day expected to bring in record sales. The company has already partnered with more than 100 retailers across the whole island of Ireland, with a full network of suppliers in Northern Ireland and similar due for the Republic by 1 April. The company is also set to announce its first wave of UK partners in the coming months.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have secured investment from Danny Moore and Stephen Lusty, two of Northern Ireland’s leading angel investors,” said founder Mary McKimm. “In particular, it’s a thrill to have access to Danny’s experience in building successful and scalable technology-led start-ups, while Stephen brings a vast knowledge in the areas of online marketing, e-commerce and data analysis.”