A few months after a Valentine’s Day that CEO Ajay Kori said was the company’s “most difficult day,” UrbanStems raised new funding and is bringing on a COO.
The flower delivery startup raised $6 million in Series A extension funding, led by Haas Portman with GSW Investments. SWaN & Legend, NextGen Venture Partners and Grotech Ventures also participated.
On Valentine’s Day, the company failed to deliver many orders in New York and D.C., and faced a public backlash. The startup responded by shutting down operations for the week, and Kori sought to make it up to customers one-by-one. Since then, the company has been looking to make long-term changes to its delivery model, it stated to Technical.ly.
It’s easy to see how such a day might also make investors nervous, but the round was all insiders. One said the response was part of the reason they led this round.
“We strongly believe in the mission and team at UrbanStems,” Grant Haas, Managing Partner of Haas Portman, said in a statement. “Watching them respond and recover from the adversities they faced on Valentine’s Day only strengthened our position and belief that this is a special company that’s going to change gifting forever. We’re proud to have led an oversubscribed insider only round.”
With the new funding, the company will focus on its existing markets, which include D.C., Baltimore, Philly, New York and Austin.
Along with the funding, the D.C.-based company is bringing on an exec with experience in delivery. Seth Goldman, who was CEO of food delivery company HelloFresh as it scaled from startup phase, will be the COO of the company.
The Washington Business Journal first reported the news, and quoted Kori saying the company “needed to bring in someone with operational expertise to be able to pull that off that really makes sense long term.”