Pune-based, home gardening and houseplant start-up Ugaoo, a market leader and innovator in the fast-growing home gardening segment has raised Rs 15 crore in its pre-Series A funding round. The round was led by DSG Consumer Partners and RPG Ventures.
Founded in 2015, by Siddhant Bhalinge, a landscape architect from California State Polytechnic University, USA, the start-up has seen a consistent growth of 120 percent year-on-year. Siddhant, who hails from a family business of seeds and agriculture, comes with a rich experience and vision in the field of plants, kitchen gardening, and plant care.
The company offers an array of products including, live indoor plants, planters, kitchen garden seeds, and plant care products through its website as well as marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc. The start-up has also built two experience stores in Pune which focuses on inspiring people to bring nature inside their homes and helping in setting up aesthetically for better mental health and aspirational quality of life.
Ugaoo’s plants are grown in-house, in its state-of-the-art greenhouses, under the watchful eyes of horticultural experts to ensure utmost customer delight which ensures complete control of quality from planting to dispatch.
Siddhant Bhalinge, Founder, Ugaoo said “The plant and home gardening industry is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 50 percent and reach a market size of $4 Billion by 2025 in India, thus holding great potential for growth. We plan to utilize the funds to expand our regional presence with hubs and garden centers in Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and collaborate with international plant companies to introduce a wider range of exotic plants and premium plant care products to the Indian market. In the last six years, Ugaoo has fulfilled more than a million orders and we aim to produce at least 500k plants a month by end of next year.”
“One of the biggest challenges in selling plants online is to ensure there is no damage to the plant in transit and the plant remains fresh when it reaches the customer. We have successfully addressed this by using innovative, jelly-filled soil mixes and re-useable sturdy packaging that can withstand a payload of 50 kg and 8-10 days in transit from nursery to destination”, added Siddhant
Hariharan Premkumar, Head of India, DSG Consumer Partners, said, “We are excited to partner with Siddhant on his mission to help people reconnect with nature. Plant parenting is on the rise across age groups and the category has massive growth potential. The category is highly unorganized, and the offline purchase experience is subpar. Ugaoo has the potential to be the category-defining brand by solving customer pain points thoughtfully with a digital-first approach. The Ugaoo team has done a fantastic job of scaling in a capital-efficient manner, backward integration to ensure best-in-class quality and building a brand loved by customers.”
Kunjan Chikhlikar, Head - RPG Ventures, said, “Verticalization of cities, a large market in home and commercial décor as well as plant gifting and the company’s deep domain knowledge prompted us to partner with Ugaoo Agritech. We also see a rising trend in plant parenting among the young adults.”