Flora, a technology-driven sustainable e-commerce platform, emerged from stealth mode today to announce that it has raised $9 million in seed funding from prominent Silicon Valley investors, including Lux Capital, Correlation Ventures, Climate Capital, and Gokul Rajaram. Flora acquires, reinvents, and grows sustainable brands with a mission to provide greater access to sustainable products at affordable prices. Flora’s brands serve over 300 thousand customers and save 10 thousand tons of CO2 emissions annually compared to conventional alternatives (equivalent to the impact of 400 thousand trees).
Flora is led by co-founders and co-CEOs, Mithat Can Ulubay and Ugur Kaya. The pair, immigrants from Turkey, met at Goldman Sachs, where they advised top e-commerce marketplaces and CPG brands on billions of dollars worth of transactions. Google AdSense pioneer Gokul Rajaram commented, “When I heard about Mithat and Ugur’s wholehearted passion for sustainability and their vision for Flora, I decided to write one of my largest checks after 30 minutes. Growing up in middle-class families in Turkey, Flora’s founders used their limited resources efficiently to succeed. Now, they want to use the earth’s resources as efficiently as possible to protect it against climate change. I am confident that Flora will reinvent the $6 trillion e-commerce industry and change consumer behavior with their scalable, profitable business model and a stellar team of operators from Amazon, Alibaba, P&G, General Mills, Constellation Brands, Blue Apron, Tinder, Publicis, McKinsey, JP Morgan, and Accenture.”
Flora uses its proprietary technology and algorithms to identify sustainable brands and evaluate their operational and financial performance, sustainability impact, and value creation opportunities. After brands are integrated seamlessly into Flora’s best-in-class operating platform, Flora grows their sales and optimizes its operations by leveraging data science and technology capabilities and its expertise in sustainability, branding, marketing, advertising, supply chain, and product development. “Our genuine, impact-driven mindset and operational expertise attract exceptional mission-driven entrepreneurs who lack time, expertise, or capital to unlock the full potential of their category-leading sustainable brands,” says Ugur Kaya, Co-CEO. “We will deploy hundreds of millions of dollars to provide a lucrative exit for these entrepreneurs and help their brands flourish globally.”
A growing base of conscious consumers is leading the sustainability movement. 77% of consumers are concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy and are engaging 8 times more with sustainable brands on social media than conventional brands. Yet three-quarters of consumers don’t know how or where to find sustainable products they need. “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. Flora is addressing it by launching the first technology-driven sustainable e-commerce marketplace in Q4 2022,” says Co-CEO Mithat Can Ulubay, who co-founded Flora out of Stanford GSB. “Despite the abundance of data, traditional CPG brands and e-commerce platforms have made little progress in calculating their environmental impact. That’s why they are unable to address the needs of eco-conscious consumers. Flora is changing that by helping our customers to measure, own, and reduce their carbon footprint by switching to high-quality, sustainable products from a wide selection of independent mission-driven brands curated by Flora.”
Flora built a proprietary Lifecycle Assessment tool to calculate the environmental impact of all of its products and provides transparent quantitative and qualitative insights to customers. “This is just the beginning. We are partnering with creators, influencers, and non-profits to build a mission-driven community empowered by information. We aim to help our community to live a sustainable lifestyle by expanding into areas such as fashion, food, dining, travel, and accommodation,” added Mithat Can Ulubay.
D4 Ventures, Esas Ventures, Paragon Ventures, and the 23 Fund also participated in this round along with successful entrepreneurs Firat & Fatih Isbecer (Positron), Ramakant Sharma (Livspace), Rob Gabel (Tubular Labs), in addition to executives and investors from Amazon, Apple, Doordash, Goldman Sachs, Silverlake, and Softbank.
Flora is creating a better future by making sustainability easy and accessible.