LawnGuru wants to be the answer for people who need a lawn mowed the way Uber is the answer for people who need a lift.
Seems simple, right? The sharing economy has become ubiquitous in most sectors, so why not landscaping? Anyone who has tried to nail down a mowing service in April or a snow plowing service in January (when those services are in highest demand) might disagree, but LawnGuru’s team believes it can overcome those misgivings.
The Wixom-based startup has created a mobile platform that enables users to hire landscapers to mow lawns in much the same way Uber does with rides — it connects an independent contractor with someone who needs a job done, and everybody wins. Contractors can choose jobs close to where their established work is, allowing them to maximize the efficiency and earning potential of a workday.
“Our platform gives them more money for jobs they are already near to, with no invoicing or backend work,” says Skye Durrant, co-founder and president of LawnGuru.
Durrant adds that about 75 percent of the companies working in landscaping are owner-operated, so they are cutting lawns, managing employees, and filing paperwork to make it all happen. To say they’re stretched thin is an understatement. LawnGuru gives them a chance to increase their revenues with less overhead headache.
LawnGuru launched its service in May and now has about 2,000 users, mostly in metro Detroit. Next year it’s aiming to expand across Michigan, then the Midwest, and then across North America. Its team of eight people executing that expansion while raising a six-figure seed round. They have already secured $25,000 by winning the product and service category at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, Michigan’s biggest business plan competition.
“In terms of the network in Michigan, it was amazing,” Durrant says. “The experience as a whole was incredible.”
Source: Skye Durrant, co-founder & president of LawnGuru
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.