AUSTIN (Jan. 30, 2024) — LawnStarter, which makes it easy to book lawn care and other outdoor services, finished 2023 in the green. The Austin-based startup capped its 10th year with its first annual profit.
“This is a massive milestone,” LawnStarter CEO Steve Corcoran says.
How big of a milestone? Often called the Uber of Outdoor Services, LawnStarter took 10 years to record a profitable year. It took 13 years for Uber to hit that mark.
By comparison, Southwest Airlines took 7 years to record an annual profit, and DoorDash, founded the same year as LawnStarter, has not had a profitable year yet.
How did LawnStarter do it? For months, LawnStarter employees across all departments were focused on Operation $1 and ending the year in the green. It worked.
In a year that tested the mettle of businesses worldwide, LawnStarter emerged from 2023 showcasing an impressive year-over-year revenue growth of 37%.
Through a relentless commitment to growth strategies and a keen eye for cost efficiencies, the company achieved a monumental milestone — turning EBITDA positive for the first time, with a remarkable 103% year-over-year EBITDA growth.
“With 2023 marking a turning point in our operating history, looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we remain committed to capital discipline and driving further operating leverage,” LawnStarter Chief Strategy and Financial Officer Arman Panjwani says. “The stage is set for a future where innovation, resilience, and financial acumen will propel the company to even greater heights.”
LawnStarter: Start to Present
So much has changed since three college friends launched LawnStarter in 2013, and moved to Austin to grow the business.
The three co-founders – Corcoran, Ryan Farley, and Jonas Weigert – remain.
Smaller LawnStarter milestones on the way to profitability include being part of Techstars Austin in 2014 and acquiring San Diego-based Lawn Love in 2021. Lawn Love had graduated from Y Combinator’s startup accelerator.
“Joining forces enables LawnStarter and Lawn Love to be even more disruptive together as we continue to revolutionize the outdoor services industry,” Corcoran said at the time.
Over the years, LawnStarter and Lawn Love have accrued more than $30 million in funding. Investors include Lerer Hippeau, Edison Partners, Bull Creek Capital, Gary Vaynerchuk, Cotter Cunningham, Bullpen Capital, Y Combinator, Alexis Ohanian, Joe Montana and Barbara Corcoran (no relation to Steve).
LawnStarter’s Future: More Growth Ahead
“It took 10 years to get here, but now we can accelerate,” Corcoran says. “That acceleration includes growing in sales and growing in new verticals.”
How will LawnStarter grow sales? LawnStarter and Lawn Love are expanding into hundreds of new cities across the U.S. this spring.
The company also is offering more lawn care services to new and existing customers. One of these new services is lawn fertilization. Partnering with large service providers will help LawnStarter to offer fertilization across the country.
In addition to these new services, the company has also branched out into several home service-focused websites. These platforms aim to connect customers with local professionals. In 2023 alone, LawnStarter launched eight of these sites and acquired the flagship domain HomeGnome.com.
LawnStarter is expanding its range of services as part of its strategy to achieve a significant goal: to perform at least one job annually for every household in the United States. This expansion is key to growth and market penetration objectives.
An Even Stronger Leadership Team
Recent key leadership moves and hires at LawnStarter include:
Co-founder Ryan Farley, CMO, Growth, now heads company strategy and partnerships, a new role. Partnerships are vital to the company’s growth, Corcoran says, “and we’ve long needed someone to focus on company strategy.” Farley previously was head of growth.
Beth McDade as VP of Customer Support. Previously, McDade was vice president of operations at Road Recyclers and before that she was director of global business operations and strategic programs at Dell Technologies.
Christian Lavender, CMO, Lead Generation. Lavender was a co-founder of CreditCards.com, chief digital marketing officer at The Savings Group, and he was founder and CEO of UniversityTextbooks.com, which was acquired by Barnes & Noble.
Gabriel Rosario, Head of Data. Rosario was previously head of data at Memed and product data and insights manager at OLX Brasil.
“We’ve always had great people on our team, but Beth, Christian, and Gabriel will help take us to the next level even faster,” Corcoran says.
Others on LawnStarter’s leadership team include Panjwani, head of engineering Alberto Silviera, and senior director of sales Shawn Jones.
LawnStarter Aims to Make More Green
Now that LawnStarter is in the green, that’s the focus going forward – staying in the green and continuing to grow rapidly as the mowing season returns over much of the country in the spring.
Another focus is adding more LawnStarter lawn care pros to better serve homeowners, property managers, business owners, and others across the U.S.
Where will LawnStarter be 10 years from now? Who knows. Co-founder Weigert, asked if he ever thought LawnStarter would be here 10 years later and profitable, replied. “Hell no.” Then he added, “It’s been a great ride from our college days till now, and that won’t change.”
For more information about LawnStarter or to interview Corcoran or a member of the executive team, email email@example.com.
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