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Meet LawnStarter, A Profitable Austin-based Startup That Just Raised $10.5M

LawnStarter, which operates an on-demand lawn care and maintenance, announced this morning it has raised $10.5 million in a growth round led by Edison Partners.

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Via its website and mobile app, the Austin-based company matches consumers with a lawn or outdoor service, and makes a percentage of every such service that is booked on its SaaS platform

Unlike many of the startups we cover, LawnStarter claims that it reached profitability earlier this year (unlike many of the tech companies that have gone public, or planned to go public, this year). With this new financing, the five-year-old startup has now raised a total of $17.7 million, according to Crunchbase data. Lerer Hippeau, Bull Creek Capital and Binary Capital participated in the round as well. 

LawnStarter currently operates in 120 cities in the United States, including Austin, Nashville, Tenn., and San Diego, Calif. Its revenue and net income is growing at a rate of 100 percent year-over-year, according to CEO and co-founder Steve Corcoran

History

LawnStarter was originally born in northern Virginia. Co-founders Corcoran and Ryan Farley (who had a lawn operation together while in high school) learned to code and had a “fully functional product” in six weeks. The pair, armed with a 100 customers, moved the startup’s headquarters to Austin with acceptance into Techstars’ Austin program. They enlisted their third co-founder, Jonas Weigert, to improve upon the platform what they had built.

“We saw a huge opportunity to help lawn care professionals and change the way consumers order and manage services,” he told me. “Every rock I turned over made it super apparent how hard it was to run and scale lawn care operations.”

Lawnstarter CEO and co-founder Steve Corcoran

Indeed, the lawn care market is massive, estimated at nearly $100 billion annually. (Specifically, an estimated $99 billion will be spent on lawn and landscape services in 2019 in the U.S. alone, according to an IBIS World Report.)

Dan Herscovici, partner at Edison Partners said his firm was impressed with how LawnStarter’s ability to achieve profitability “responsibly, in a way that’s extremely capital efficient.”

“That’s unique in this day and age in the startup community,” he told Crunchbase News.

Edison also sees “enormous” opportunity in a “highly fragmented” industry. Especially in an era where millennials are more likely to outsource this sort of work than perform it themselves.

“There’s half a million service providers and 70 percent are owner-operated,” Herscovici said. “Several companies have tried to tackle the space but LawnStarter, we think, is the largest and has proven some really innovative capital efficient ways to grow.”

With its new capital, LawnStarter plans to add additional services such as pest control to its platform, and “continue penetrating the lawn mowing and maintenance markets.” 

Meanwhile, the funding marks Edison Partners’ second investment in Texas. The firm has also invested in Solovis, an Irving-based institutional investment management platform. For more about why Edison thinks Texas is a great place to be investing, check out this piece here.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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