On April 19, Digital Dallas' Startup Comedy Roast returns to the Dallas Comedy House, where five up and coming startups will brave the crosshairs of comedic barbs. Recently, we caught up with Robin Lawn Care to see where they've taken their business since last year's roast. Has the grass become greener? Read on to find out!
Get outside and take a deep breath. Do you smell that? It's the scent of Spring in the air. Everywhere you look, flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and soon the days will be filled with the Eau de Parfum of summer: freshly cut grass.
At long last, the cheery song of Robin is signaling the end of winter. Of course, I’m not talking about that warm, orange-breasted bird. I’m talking about one of our startup superstars from last year’s Startup Comedy Roast: Robin Lawn Care.
I recently caught up with yard artist turned lawn care master of the universe, Justin Crandall, one of the co-founders of Robin. And since our last roast, Robin has certainly soared!
“The Digital Dallas Startup Roast was a big boost for our awareness,” said Justin. “As a start up, it was a great way to connect with the Dallas digital scene. We’re always recruiting, so the roast gave us some great exposure to some amazing talent in North Texas.”
Ironically enough, following a nearly ten-year dry spell across Texas, Justin and co-founder Bart opened their doors – just as the heavens were doing the same. 2015 was the wettest year on record in Texas since, ohhhh, they started keeping records. There was somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 days of rain, unprecedented flooding…you know, Noah’s Ark kind of weather. Clearly not ideal timing for a startup that needs a dry lawn to get the job done.
At the time of the Startup Comedy Roast, however, Robin was sitting comfortably at $125k-per-month in revenue. Two months later they were nesting on $250K-per-month. Not a bad start to the year considering Mother Nature’s theme song was “here comes the rain again."
“Last summer was tough. We were drowning – almost literally – in a backlog of rain-delayed jobs through most of our busiest season. Most of our customers understood. But, if the sun peeked out after four days of rain some would wonder why we weren’t there instantly. It’s frustrating for them, for us, and for our crews. But we can’t mow at night and needed time to work through thousands of jobs.”
But what Mother Nature lacked in regard for Robin’s business model, Justin and Bart made up in sheer wit and business acumen. With regular communication and prompt responses to their customers, the two entrepreneurs not only navigated through 32 inches of floodwaters in 60 days of backlogged service, but they grew and doubled their business. (Yes, again.)
Now that the floods have receded and the sun is shining, Robin has its eyes set on its next earthworm to tug out of the ground: robotic lawn service. “What Uber will be for autonomous driving and Amazon will be for drone delivery," said Justin, "Robin will be for robotic lawn service. Think a mowing Roomba with a wireless dog fence."
Robotic lawn care isn’t a new market really. In fact, it’s already a $500M industry in Europe. And while manufacturers have tried to sell them in the States, it hasn’t taken root here. Robin is on course to change that. Justin and Bart have been testing their robotic lawn care service on winter rye lawns since October. North Texas is their test bed, which makes sense since Dallas is the 4th largest lawn care market in the nation.
By this June, however, the not-so-startup company is projecting to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 robotic lawn care service contracts.
With growth comes opportunity, right? You bet! Robin wants to share in its success and is looking for a few good digital people to join their nest. Of course, if you’d like to get in on the ground level of a blooming robotic lawn care business as a side investment – well, now’s the time. Justin and Bart would love to chat.
Want to be like Robin? Want to grow awareness for your startup in Dallas' digital scene? And maybe have some fun, too? Well now's your chance, because on April 19, the Startup Comedy Roast returns to the Dallas Comedy House!
Our application deadline is coming up soon, so visit our submission page to apply today. And, as always, feel free to pass along to a friend!