Jewelry companies are predicting a rise in engagements in 2024, as more post-pandemic couples are looking to tie the knot.
That rise in proposals – and the number of weddings to follow – brings a big opportunity for Poppy, a Techstars Atlanta graduate innovating the floral industry through its tech-enabled platform. And thanks to a new injection of VC funding, Poppy is poised to help more couples get the flowers they need for their big day.
ABOUT THE ROUND
Poppy’s $6.5 million Series A was led by Michigan Capital Network. IDEA Fund Partners (Durham), Techstars, Angeles Investors (Chicago), Riptide Ventures (Baltimore), and Front Porch Ventures (Raleigh).
While Poppy is jointly based in Charlotte, Virginia and San Francisco, California, the startup has strong ties to Atlanta. The team went through Techstars Atlanta in 2020 and pitched on the Venture Atlanta stage earlier this year. Poppy previously raised $2 million in seed funding in December of 2020.
The round will go far in helping Poppy improve its overall user experience.
“For instance, we know our customers have preferences on floral style, but often don’t have the vocabulary to tell us which flowers specifically they do or don’t want. We’re building a feature into our style quiz that lets users quickly and easily scroll through recommended stems and leave notes for their Poppy design team — without having to get a degree in botany to make their preferences clear,” founder and CEO Cameron Hardesty told Hypepotamus. “On the back end, our fulfillment tech roadmap is primed to save even more hours per wedding in tasks like recipe writing and purchase order creation, enabling us to keep scaling while controlling our fixed costs, and continue to integrate more deeply with our farm-direct partners.”
INNOVATING THE WORLD OF FLOWERS
Creating floral bouquets is an intensely manual process, but Poppy believes technology plays an important part in making sure couples get the flower arrangements of their dreams.
“Before Poppy, couples looking for custom wedding flowers at affordable prices had few options – DIY or compromising their vision. On the other side of the table, an antiquated supply chain means floral designers have to charge a huge markup to turn a profit. We’ve enabled couples to get the personalized wedding flowers they desire while staying on budget. We’ve heard from thousands of Poppy customers that our personal, creative, and collaborative platform, and integration of local floral designers made the experience magical,” said Hardesty in a statement.
In under three years, Poppy has brought in 3,000 customers. And Hardesty said the startup is ready to scale as we head into 2024.
While New York, D.C, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles are Poppy’s largest market, Hardesty sees a lot of opportunity in the Southeast. She told Hypepotamus that the startup is seeing a lot of growth in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Tampa.
For couples that are getting engaged in the coming year, Poppy will be releasing its 2024 trend report in the new year. Hardesty said that neutrals, toffee roses, monobloom bouquets, and white flowers were the top styles of 2023. Any guesses on what 2024 trends might be?
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