Colvin, the Barcelona-based startup long-time candidate for unicorn, has raised €6 million in an internal round provided by its current investors and its founders, Sergi Bastardas and Andrés Cester, and in which a dozen more shareholders have participated, led by Eurazeo, the French fund that led the round that the company closed in 2021 and valued at €45 million. Colvin has detailed that the capital increase is in addition to the €10 million raised last year. This downround has resulted in a significant valuation reduction of approximately 40% to 50%.
After this last round, Colvin’s founders have announced that they will step aside so that a new board of directors can lead the company towards profitability, and “give Colvin a good cash position for new challenges,” according Sergi Bastardas, founder of the flower and plants online marketplace.
According to the startup, at the end of last year, it undertook a strategic shift to focus on B2C sales and achieve sustainable and stable growth. As part of this strategy, Sergi Bastardas and Andrés Cester, the two founders will step aside and a new CEO will be sought to address profitability.
“We remain committed to Colvin’s success and will continue to be involved as shareholders and advisors, contributing all our experience and expertise,” the two founders have assured.
Spanish media outlets point out that, according to several sources, the decision to find a new CEO was initiated by the founders themselves, rather than at the request of the funds. They made this decision after abandoning their business-to-business segment due to difficulties and focusing on direct sales to end consumers for profitability. The founders aim to remain on the board until the company stabilizes and emphasize the importance of sustainable and profitable growth in the long term.
The two co-founders shared the responsibilities of chief executives and were part of the board, which included international partners such as P101, Eurazeo, and Milano Investments Partners. Currently, the distribution of shares among the major stakeholders is as follows: P101 (16.4%), Milano (12.6%), Samaipata (11%), and Idinvest (10.9%).
Founded in 2016, the company will focus now on improving logistics, marketing and product offerings, while it believes it can be a leader in its sector in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal. Since its founding, it has raised €83.7 million in eight rounds of financing. In early 2022, Colvin acquired Monsieur Marguerite, a French start-up specializing in the online sale of flowers and plants. Thanks to that transaction, the Catalan company entered the French market.
In Italy, the company acquired Bloovery, a local wholesaler. The company’s expansion into the wholesale market has posed challenges, as it aims to balance its direct sales to consumers with intermediary services for businesses.
The leadership of Colvin is now uncertain following these changes, and the company’s future direction and success will depend on the new CEO and their strategies.