Online gardening start-up Sproutl partners with Kew Gardens
Sproutl, the new curated online gardening marketplace, has announced a strategic partnership with world renowned plant science institution, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Kew). Their mission is to encourage more people to take up gardening.
The Sproutl concept was created during the pandemic in 2021 in response to the growing number of gardeners in the UK, with over three million people joining the country’s gardeners. With nearly half of that number being under the age of forty-five and therefore digital natives, the founders saw an opportunity to simplify the online sales process for horticulture vendors and connect them with the consumer.
Sproutl co-founders, CEO Anni Noel-Johnson and CTO Andy Done, had careers at luxury e-commerce brand Farfetch before starting the company.
The brand partnership between a tech start-up and the world’s most famous horticultural institution will allow Kew to connect directly with a growing demographic of young gardeners.
In addition to stocking Kew products on the platform, the partnership will also include a co-curated “Kew X Sproutl Collection”, which will launch later this year. This will allow plants from Kew to be delivered directly to people for the first time.
“This partnership is the perfect marriage of a tech startup with the world’s most famous scientific and horticultural institution. It will give Sproutl customers access to Kew’s branded products and help introduce a new audience to Kew. ” Noel-Johnson said of the announcement.
The gardening renaissance in the UK shows no signs of slowing down, with sales of outdoor plants up 39% on the previous year and 29% on 2019. are also still in vogue with sales up 29% in 2021 on the previous year and 50% more than in 2019. According to Mintel figures, most UK consumers bought a garden product over the past 12 months.
Still, not all consumers are naturally green-faced and that’s where Sproutl has identified additional sales opportunities with beginning gardeners. In its aim to “demystify gardening”, the company allowed users to simplify their shop, making a few selections which then generate recommendations of other products to achieve a certain aesthetic.
Whether it’s decorating an entryway with a few potted plants or an arrangement of houseplants, the brand has recognized that oftentimes consumers can be lost in a sea of thousands of plant choices. This includes a ‘Compost Calculator’ to help estimate the correct amount of peat needed, as well as tracking tips and advice.
Sproutl was launched with a $9 million seed investment led by Index Ventures and C-Suite investors from top tech brands such as Airbnb and Slack.
Kew is renowned for 260 years of plant science and expertise with exceptional plant collections that make it one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. It is also a Unesco World Heritage Site and a major international tourist attraction with over 2.5 million visits each year.
“We are thrilled to partner with a dynamic and exciting new startup like Sproutl.” said Quincy Leon, licensing manager, Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.