During the lockdown, there has been a surge in the number of searches for plants and gardening. Google searches related to gardening doubled from May 2020 to May 2021. The UK-based gardening tech startup Sproutl, founded by the former Farfetch team, is designed to make it easy for consumers to shop for horticultural supplies. The marketplace for gardeners aims to open up gardening to a new generation of gardeners.
Now, the company has launched a curated online marketplace celebrating the best brands and businesses in the industry. Also, it bagged €7.6 million (nearly £6.5 million) in a seed funding round.
The investment round was led by Index Ventures, which has backed Dropbox, Deliveroo, Farfetch, etc. Others including Ada Ventures and C-Suite angel investors from leading global tech companies such as Slack, Airbnb, Farfetch, and Made.com also participated in the round.
Sproutl will use the funds for the launch of its platform and its expansion. Also, it will let the company move a step closer to its mission of transforming the online gardening landscape in the UK. The company will expand its team and hire senior talent from leading brands such as ASOS, Soho House Group, Selfridges, Kind, and Habitat.
Anni Noel-Johnson, CEO, & Andy Done, CTO, commented: “We built Sproutl to invite a new audience to take up gardening and give them the world-class e-commerce experience that digital natives expect. Our mission is to demystify growing plants and remove the barriers to getting started. We want to celebrate the UK’s brilliant horticultural industry and the network of family-owned and independent businesses, bringing their plants and products together in one place, generating incremental sales to new nationwide audiences.”
Hollie Newton, CCO, added:“You don’t need a ten-acre plot in the countryside to start gardening. To be honest, you don’t even need a garden. A terrace, a balcony, a small sunny windowsill – the modern garden is a brilliant place and one that thousands of people rediscovered in lockdown. Who cares if you’ve never picked up a trowel before? This is gardening made easy. The best plants and products, sitting alongside advice, inspiration, easy-to-shop edits, and high profile limited edition collections. It’s gardening for a new generation.”
Danny Rimer, Partner at Index Ventures, commented: “The notion of who is a gardener, and what it means to be a grower, has been transformed in the past few years, with a whole new generation of young people breaking the long-held stereotypes. More than anyone we’ve met, Anni and Andy have understood this cultural change and built Sproutl, a gardening destination that’s like no other.”
Check Warner, Partner at Ada Ventures, commented: “At Ada, we are looking to invest in dynamic founders with bold ideas. The Sproutl team is reinventing and reshaping the online gardening landscape in the UK, making gardening more accessible and inclusive. The depth of experience of the team and their passion for celebrating independent garden retailers made us really excited to partner with them on this ambitious mission.”
Sproutl’s online marketplace inspires and advices the new generation of growers, demystifying gardening, making it accessible and fun to fresh new audiences who may never have grown anything before, bringing plants and products seamlessly from phone to door.
Sproutl manages logistics, packaging sourcing, and delivery apart from the online marketing and customer services. It allows local garden centres, shops and nurseries to develop their online presence and reach new national audiences, generating incremental sales.
With this marketplace, consumers from across the UK can access some of the best gardening products and plants from the country’s leading independent garden centres, nurseries and shops in an online curated marketplace.