Just released: How to raise venture capital in 2023


Case Study

Shifting from traditional brokers

The Challenge

An online gifting company that operates nationwide, UrbanStems offers same-day courier service in New York City and Washington, DC, and next-day delivery from coast-to-coast. Their flowers, arrangements, and gifts have a modern sensibility, and their commitment to seamless service differentiates them in a business category that has remained relatively static for years.

When UrbanStems launched in 2013, Amit Patel pitched in to help out friends who started the company. He was part of the very first delivery team—compensation was typically a lunchtime burrito. But after several years at Swiss investment bank UBS Group, Patel joined the company officially as General Counsel and Chief of Staff in 2018. When he took the position, he also assumed responsibility for insurance coverage.

Coverage is not a boilerplate process for the company—delivering flowers and gifts is a business with considerable complexity. Most of the products are perishable, same-day delivery is demanding, and their workforce includes both full-time employees and part-time contractors. Patel also discovered that in the past, insurance had been largely ignored. Claims were rarely filed, and reviews of coverage were infrequent.

“There is a lot to consider, and our coverage needs reflect that,” Patel added. “I came in with a directive to make sure we plugged any holes. But as a young, growing company, we also need to avoid overkill—we don’t want to spend more on coverage than we need to.”


The Founder Shield team worked with Patel to dissect the coverage that was in place, evaluate risk, and develop a coverage plan that balanced security with affordability. Over the years, Patel and the Founder Shield brokers have had occasional debates about coverage needs.

“We have conversations that are open and honest, but I never feel like they’re presenting something that is unnecessary,” said Patel. “They understand when I push back, it’s because I’m looking at the big picture and need to allocate the right amount of our operating capital to insurance.”

That said, there is no shortage of issues to tackle. Whether it’s company couriers starting to use scooters, a growing headcount at the corporate level, or protection against liability issues when working with independent contractors, coverage needs at UrbanStems are constantly changing.

“My instructions are always pretty simple: tell us what we need, and tell us exactly how much it’s going to cost us. Founder Shield knows the drill, and delivers what we need.”

One of the gaps I immediately saw was cybersecurity, the brokers at Founder Shield presented a solution that solved our issue at a price that was reasonable for us.

urbanstems logo
Amit Patel General Counsel
The Result

Today, Patel works closely with his broker team, adapting coverage as UrbanStems evolves and expands. The total number of employees has doubled, new locations have been added, and the offering has grown to include more corporate and high-end gift options.

During the COVID pandemic, UrbanStems has been among the fortunate companies that have seen revenue increase. They can operate without major restrictions and demand is up for their services, in part because face-to-face contact is limited. Flowers and gifts help people stay connected.

“Founder Shield has been a great partner for us,” Patel concluded. “I try to be respectful of people’s time but if I have questions, they know I’m going to call. And they’re always available to provide answers.”