Abdulaziz Al Loughani is a Kuwaiti entrepreneur who had previously led Talabat before passing on the baton to his partner Mohammed Jaffar (who then sold the company to Rocket Internet for $170 million in 2015). He’s also a tech investor and has been investing in startups across the region through Faith Capital, an investment firm that he had co-founded with Mohammed Jaffar.
In 2017, Abdulaziz wore his founder hat again to start a company that would sell cut-flowers online. He had spotted a gap in the GCC cut-flower industry with over 98 percent of the $1.5 billion market being offline at the time.
Sharing the launch story, Abdualziz, CEO of Floward told MENAbytes, “The market was very fragmented back then with no regional leader and nascent online presence. After learning that there’s a clear gap in the industry, we invested in a small flower shop and then built the website and app ‘Floward’ (the name is a combination of Flower & Ward – Arabic for Flower), to sell flowers online.”
Instead of creating a marketplace which makes it easy to scale operations as you can onboard existing offline flower shops onto your platform wherever you want to launch and can have third-party logistics companies provide you last-mile delivery services, Abdulaziz and his team decided to go for a pure-play model, procuring flowers themselves and selling them on the website and app along with managing the last-mile delivery too.