This start-up delivers flowers from the side of a volcano in Ecuador for $40

The Bouqs Company is trying to overhaul the flower industry to make it more efficient and sustainable. Its sell? Being a cheaper, better-quality option.

So far, the play is working. Founded in 2012, the Venice Beach, California-based flower delivery start-up has been growing at a rapid clip. It's raised almost $20 million in venture capital, has 50 employees, works with 50 farms and 300 florists, and delivers to all 50 states.

Co-founders John Tabis and Juan Pablo Montufar, now in their late 30s, met playing in a band together in college at the University of Notre Dame. Montufar, from Ecuador, moved back home to raise a family. He was working for a flower company there when he saw the innards of the flower delivery supply chain.

Typically, flowers are cut in massive quantities, transported to the U.S., held in refrigerated storage where the flowers get old and often die, delivered to flower shops where they are held longer, and then finally arranged and delivered to the customer. One-third to one-half of the flowers die before they are ever delivered.