- Written by Zoe Spurgeon
- August 08, 2017
As part of its plan to lead the houseplant revival among London’s stylish homeowners and offices Patch (www.patch.garden), the online plant shop, has completed a $1.1m seed investment in its efforts to bring gardening to the digital age.
12 months after launching in East London, the startup has now served over 5,000 customers across the capital, has been growing 30% every month this year and has secured its seed round, led by early-stage investors Forward Partners and supported by London Co-investment Fund and several angel investors. This investment will support the business’ expansion initially within London and then across the UK.
Patch is looking to fill a gaping hole left by traditional garden centres, which are struggling to deliver value to customers due to rising costs, and a slowness to respond to wider consumer trends in retail and online. While 40% of retail is now online, just 1% of plant sales are made online — underlining the massive opportunity that Patch is attempting to seize.
“For too long, the pleasure of living with plants, whether indoors or outdoors, has been out of reach to young city dwellers.With this round of investment, we hope to make it simpler for people to buy the right plants for them and their space. We’re going to use technology to equip them with knowledge, discovery and inspiration and, in turn, provide superb service and convenience. Our aim is to help more people to love a life with plants”, said Freddie Blackett, (pictured below) CEO and co-founder of Patch.
In addition to greening up thousands of Londoners’ homes, Patch has also helped hundreds of companies who are looking to create healthy, green office spaces for their employees and visiting clients. Facebook, Google and Sweaty Betty are just a handful of the companies using Patch to green up their offices. Patch has also become the go-to website for set and interior designers and the hospitality sector looking for an easy way to discover, buy and care for plants.
Patch’s website uses simple filters to help novice gardeners determine which plants will live most happily in their space, based on the size of the space and the amount of light and wind. Patch delivers anywhere in central London within a week of ordering.
“Urbanisation is a global trend, which shows no signs of abating. More people want to live in the city, which increases the price of land, therefore making it difficult for quality garden centres to operate. But as cities become more and more compact, the need for nature’s presence will only increase. Patch hopes to solve this problem by helping anyone – with little or even no outdoor space – enjoy the many benefits of plants in their lives.”
Nic Brisbourne, Managing Partner at Forward Partners comments “We’re incredibly pleased to lead this Seed investment in Freddie and his talented team at Patch. Over the past 16 months Freddie has demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills time and time again and the excitement from consumers about Patch’s product proposition is significant.”