Online Lawn Care Service Robin Launches in Texas With $1.2M

A Texas company that offers an online-based lawn care service is launching in Austin, Houston, and Dallas today with $1.2 million in seed funding.

Robin is a Dallas-based Web service that lets users price, schedule, and pay for lawn care online. The company was founded by Bart Lomont and Justin Crandall, a former employee of Bazaarvoice (NSDQ: BV).

The company has gathered property tax data (where it’s publicly available), using that information about the size of a plot of land and satellite images to deliver users instant quotes on lawn mowing service, Crandall says. A customer can add on extra services, such as weed prevention or providing fertilizer.

Robin charges the homeowners a fee, which starts at $25 per week, and contracts local lawn-care providers to do the work, he says. The company’s technology can help a provider optimize a crew’s workday by adding in new customers during times where there’s a gap, Crandall says.

“You can picture taking this to the nth level,” he says. “With enough scale, it’s like the FedEx guys where they’re only turning right.”

A few others have created similar tools, including larger companies, such as TruGreen and Scotts, and smaller ones, such as Syracuse, NY-based Plowz & Mowz and Nashville, TN-based GreenPal. Crandall says there is room for multiple services because the market is large and fragmented. It’s about creating the best service for home owners and mowers, Crandall says.

Robin, and in particular its website’s design, was developed at Dialexa Labs, a Dallas-based incubator operated by design and engineering firm Dialexa. Dialexa Labs works as a cofounder and equity holder in the startups it incubates, and has incubated one other company, connected-car platform Vinli. Dialexa also has an office in Cambridge, MA.

Robin’s seed funding came from Brett Hurt, founder of Bazaarvoice, and 19 other individual investors, including Hurt Family Investments and John Jaggers of Sevin Rosen Funds.

The company may seek more funding later this year or in early 2016 to expand into new cities, Crandall says.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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