Hoovu Fresh, a fresh puja flower startup has raised Rs 6.45 crore in a pre-series A funding round led by Sauce.VC and joined by multiple angels such as Sangeet Agrawal (founder of Mokobara), Akshay Dujodwala (CSO at Mangalam Organics), Nikhil Bhandarkar (founder of Panthera Peak Capital), Mylktree Family Office, Cafe Coffee Day’s family office, etc.
Started by sisters Yeshoda Karuturi and Rhea Karuturi in February 2019, Hoovu’s mission is all about making fresh flowers available every day at affordable prices. They deliver high-quality fresh flowers by shortening the supply chain and leveraging technology in packaging and innovation.
“Hoovu is a pan India brand synonymous with quality, fresh puja flowers. We believe flowers are the way millions of Indians express their gratitude every day; whether used in prayer, to decorate your hair, or to hang on a loved one’s picture. We want to make those moments beautiful for everyone” said Yeshoda and Rhea.
"By partnering with local farms, innovative packaging, and multiple distribution channels, Hoovu has been able to reduce this turnaround time to 12-24 hours enabling the extension of the flower shelf life by two to five times. “With our developed processing and packaging technology, our flowers stay fresh for 15 days when compared to the average of 2-3 days, something that is unheard of in the industry. This way we have been able to create value both for the farmer as well as the end customer” added Yeshoda and Rhea.
In the past year, Hoovu has expanded its offerings to temples as well. Team Hoovu fresh is responsible for the decoration at the ISKCON temple in Bangalore among many other temples. Hoovu’s range of products includes assorted roses, assorted puja flowers, and green mixes which can be bought by customers either as individual boxes or by signing up for their monthly subscriptions.
They also have special packages for festivals, puja staples and others curated with exclusive flowers. Their assorted flowers plus greens package is very popular as it includes auspicious greens like gharke, bil patre, and tulsi which people use for their special pujas. Another customer favorite is their rose petal mola - made by hand-rolling rose petals into a garland.
Hoovu has operations in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. Flowers can be ordered via Big Basket, Zepto, Milk Basket, and other grocery apps. Hoovu Fresh also offers agarbatti’s made out of recycled temple flowers and other puja samagri that can be shopped on the brand’s website.
“We are batting on Hoovu’s strength in the fresh flower supply chain and their unique go-to-market strategy of building influence via temples to establish trust with consumers. We view Hoovu as a breakthrough brand in the enormous and unorganized space of puja consumables. While in the early stages, Rhea and Yashoda’s adoption of technology to repurpose wastage while improving margins to deliver growth and profits from day zero is a testament to their disciplined and execution focussed DNA. I am personally excited about the employment generation potential of this business, especially for women at the lowest strata of society. It is the perfect marriage of purpose with profit” said Manu Chandra, Founder and Managing Partner at Sauce. VC
“Hoovu is super exciting because they are creating a brand around what was previously a commodity. They are building a category ground up for Puja flowers and also creating a very strong community of modern/religious customers. The puja space is growing for new-age brands with a fresh take and Hoovu is leading this charge” added Sangeet Agarwal, Founder of Mokobara.