CHICAGO – LandscapeHub, a startup applying digital technology to optimize the procurement process for the nursery and landscape green industry, announced it raised $4.4 million in seed funding led by Chicago Ventures, with participation from Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels and individual investors. LandscapeHub also secured $1 million in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank. LandscapeHub will use the funding to continue building its platform, fuel growth, and to support sales, marketing and logistics.
LandscapeHub is a B2B marketplace with a custom procurement tool aimed to alleviate the headaches and inefficiencies with the buying and selling of plants and hardscape products for landscape projects. This digital sales channel will allow suppliers to reach the 450,000 landscape contractors in the United States. The platform’s functionality aims to solve additional gaps in the industry such as lack of supply chain visibility to market data and insights to the standardization of plant nomenclature.
“Our vision is to improve the lives of green industry professionals,” said Lisa Fiore, founder and CEO. “Growing up in this industry, I understand the challenges that face buyers and suppliers. This industry is fragmented, with limited use of technology, which results in vast inefficiencies. I saw the opportunity to build a solution that would connect both sides of the market and provide tools to improve the way the industry works together. Our platform avails everyone the opportunity to expand their business and network—all while creating a stronger, more connected industry.”
Buyers currently have access to over six million plants provided by more than 85 suppliers on the site with representation in 12 states. The suppliers— which include nurseries, distributors, quarries, manufacturers, and brokers—publish their inventories and pricing onto the platform, thus enabling buyers to source, quote, and build orders with multiple suppliers from one platform.
“When building LandscapeHub, we decided to standardize the naming conventions for plants for ease of use for the buyer and seamless integration of all supplier’s inventories,” said Chad Cooper, co-founder and CTO. “Buyers and suppliers now have a digital source for product information, procurement and fulfillment tools, supply chain visibility, and market data and insights. Providing supply chain visibility and market data is especially critical, as it can help identify trends and improve product forecasting. LandscapeHub uniquely serves and benefits both sides of the marketplace.”
Chicago Ventures, who led the round for LandscapeHub, identified the opportunity to invest in this solution to digitize an entire industry. “Lisa’s insight and experience in this legacy industry and her resolve to build an open, transparent marketplace, rather than be disrupted, is what attracted us to her company – she’s committed to creating a new trajectory for the landscape and nursery space. She and the team have already demonstrated an ability to transition customers and suppliers of the legacy business onto the LandscapeHub platform, and they’re now primed to empower the marketplace for growth,” said Rob Chesney from Chicago Ventures.