Launching with a marketplace for landscaping, snow plowing and other home care and repair services, Plowz & Mowz has raised $1.5 million from the Los Angeles-based startup studio Science and undisclosed angel investors.
On the heels of the firm’s successful exit from Dollar Shave Club, Science has turned to the marketplace industry for its next investment.
The idea for the company stretches back nearly four years to one of the big snowstorms that hit co-founder Wills Mahoney’s hometown of Syracuse, NY.
Mahoney’s mother was stuck in the family house, needing a plow to get out of her driveway and watching spare snowplows drive by the house on their way to other jobs.
From its first markets in Syracuse and Minneapolis, Plowz & Mowz has expanded to Boston, New York, Indianapolis and Raleigh, NC.
“Sixty-five percent of homeowners have never hired a professional landscaper [and] it’s primarily due to the cost of a seasonal contract,” said company co-founder Andrew Englander. “We offer plows, mows, and leaves… outsource it directly to the smartphone and it’s done by the same provider base and fits seamlessly within the current route structure of the landscaper.”
By providing services on demand instead of on a seasonal basis, the two co-founders say they can open up landscaping professionals to an untapped group of potential customers.
The company has two pricing models; one that’s on a monthly basis for work, and another that’s one-off.
The company provides estimates to both landscapers and homeowners for how much a job will cost using software and services that are built into the application.
“Typically, someone would come out and quote the property,” said Mahoney. “We created an instant process to do that and the jobs get outsourced to our local landscape providers.”
For a landscaper to be listed on the Plowz & Mowz app, the company has to have commercial-grade equipment, a team of employees and $1 million in general liability insurance.
So far, the company has handled 56,000 jobs — the bulk of which are lawn-mowing services.
“The way we’ve always thought about this business is that plows would serve as ‘lead-gen’ to lawn mowing, which serves as ‘lead-gen’ to leaf removal,” Englander said.