BloomNation.com, a start-up that merges the florist industry with technology, received $5.55 million in Series A funding, the company announced Tuesday.
Based in Santa Monica, California, the company drew the new round of funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, as well as A Capital Partners' Ronny Conway, Spark Capital and Chicago Ventures.
"It's really a platform for local businesses," BloomNation.com CEO and co-founder Farbod Shoraka told CNBC, adding that the start-up provides businesses with such tools as tech-based customer-relations management, a point-of-sale system and inventory management.
The company, which bills itself as an "Etsy for Flowers," allows potential customers to see actual photos of florists' work instead of stock images and allows freelance floral designers to gain exposure in their local markets, a segment of the economy Shoraka called "the backbone of the U.S. economy."
The company plans to hire more engineers on its path to developing a mobile app with the goal of disrupting the $35 billion flower industry, he added.
"Lowering the friction point of sending flowers is also a big thing for us, and I think the mobile app will help solve that," Shoraka said, adding that the company is targeting an app release in the second quarter of 2015.
So far, Shoraka said, the company boasts 3,000 artisanal florists in cities "from Manhattan to Suwanee, Georgia."