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Fast Flowers founder sells to 1300 Flowers

Wednesday, 6 October 2010 | By Oliver Milman

Entrepreneur Jonathan Barouch has sold Fast Flowers Group, the business he started up as a 17-year-old in 1999, to online rival 1300 Flowers.

 

 

Barouch sold the business for an undisclosed sum and is now consulting for 1300 Flowers ahead of his next entrepreneurial move.

 

Barouch started the business with $10,000 that he “begged, stole and borrowed” and has grown the business without any debt since.

 

Fast Flowers business started as a website for people who wanted to order flowers online, before setting up two bricks and mortar stores, in Melbourne and Brisbane. The business has forged partnership deals with Myer and ANZ.

 

Speaking to StartupSmart, Barouch says that he’d had “idle chit chat” with potential buyers over the past year ahead of the sale.

 

“I know Jack (Singleton, 1300 Flowers chairman) socially and they were keen to grow, so the deal made sense,” he says. “We had human capital and supply chain and they have the technology, so it’s a good fit.”

 

“The business needed capital and a fresh pair of eyes. I’ve done it for 11 years, I’m 28 years old and I’ve done university on the side. Usually, people do that for just one or two years.”

 

“A venture capitalist would’ve been an option, but this is the right time to do it. If I’m going to hand over my ‘baby’, I want to give it to a professional mob like 1300 Flowers. They are very committed to the Fast Flowers vision.”

 

Barouch says that he’s looking to set up a location-based social media business, stressing that there remained plenty of opportunities in the online space.

 

“There is still a lot of interest in the sector, although it’s obviously easier to sell a good business,” he says. “I’ve had 50 or 60 emails asking what I’ll be doing next but there is money out there for the right opportunities.”

 

“I’m working on a social media location-based business and I’m about to go out and raise the capital. I love building businesses that are sustainable and I want to get back into that online space.”