AUSTIN, Texas — Austin-based LawnStarter has hired Avinash Sharma as its first vice president of product to rapidly accelerate the growth of the provider of outdoor home services.
In his new role, Sharma will be responsible for scaling the product and design teams, improving the customer experience and expanding service offerings.
This news comes on the heels of LawnStarter’s acquisition of its main rival Lawn Love to create a dominant player in the marketplace for outdoor home services. In addition to his other duties, Sharma is overseeing the integration of the two companies.
Steve Corcoran, co-founder and CEO of LawnStarter, says, “Avinash has not only spent his entire career building online marketplaces, but is one of the most customer-focused leaders I’ve ever met.
“For example, he spent his entire first week out mowing lawns in the field with our lawn pros. We’re excited for him to elevate our product and take us to the next level of growth.”
Before LawnStarter, Sharma spent nearly six years at health care marketplace RealSelf, where he helped grow the company from 100,000 users to more than 10 million.
Previously, Sharma spent nearly 10 years at Expedia, where he helped build some of the flight search tools that revolutionized the travel industry with fee transparency. The same flight search tools are now used by Orbitz, Hotwire, Tripadvisor and hundreds of other sites.
“At LawnStarter, we are revolutionizing the outdoor services industry just like we did travel at Expedia,” Sharma says. “Lawn care and outdoor services are a $100 billion industry, and at LawnStarter we’re making booking any outdoor home maintenance just a click away.”
Other recent top hires at LawnStarter include Sandeep Varma Namburi, the new director of growth, and Brian Weber, the new director of customer operations.
LawnStarter, founded in 2013 and a graduate of Techstars Austin, saves consumers time, money and energy by providing easy access to providers of lawn care and other outdoor services in their area. LawnStarter has no contracts, all payments are made online, and consumers can manage their accounts on LawnStarter’s website or mobile app.
LawnStarter recently acquired its San Diego-based competitor Lawn Love. The combined entity has raised $33 million in funding from investors that include Lerer Hippeau, Edison Partners, Bull Creek Capital, Y Combinator, Barbara Corcoran, Alexis Ohanian, Joe Montana, Gary Vaynerchuk, Cotter Cunningham, and Rony Kahan.