Chicago startup LandscapeHub, a marketplace that optimizes the procurement process for nurseries and landscapers, has raised $4.4 million in a seed funding round, the company announced Wednesday.
The funding was led by Chicago Ventures with participation from Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels and other individual investors. In addition to the seed round, LandscapeHub also secured $1 million in venture debt from Silicon Valley Bank.
LandscapeHub, founded in 2017 by Lisa Fiore, Chad Cooper and Ed Rockhill, sells nursery stock and supplies on an online B2B marketplace platform, alleviating inefficiencies in the green industry. The platform has more than 6 million plants provided by over 85 suppliers, and has more than 500 buyers, Fiore said.
Fiore was the president of her family-owned nursery, Fiore Nursery and Landscape Supply. The local business, which helped her think of the idea for LandscapeHub, sells nursery stock and supplies.
“The idea for LandscapeHub was originally conceptualized as a tool for Fiore to manage their supply chain,” said Fiore, CEO of LandscapeHub. “There’s a lot of people that are buying product on the wholesale market. But because of the fragmentation, this industry has been slow to be innovated. Me, being in the middle of it for as many years as I was, I became aware of the pain points.”
Suppliers, which include growers, dealers, distributors, manufacturers, chemical companies and lighting companies, can list their items for sale on the platform. Buyers then view which suppliers have what they need and the platform facilitates orders for them.
“We’re creating a standard way for buyers and suppliers to communicate with each other, regarding procurement,” Fiore said.
The new funding will help them to further build out the platform, as well as support sales, marketing and logistics initiatives. LandscapeHub’s team of 15 currently works out of a Chicago WeWork location.
“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,” said Chicago Ventures’ Rob Chesney in a statement. “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.”