Graze, a new start-up bringing intelligence, automation and sustainable solutions to commercial landscaping– introduces its new lawn mower model, set to hit markets by 2021.
The evolution of the first Graze fully autonomous, electric lawn mower expands the design to increase efficiency and maintenance speed for mid-to-large sized commercial lawns, enhances cutting blades to perfect trim precision, adds new sensor capabilities to increase safety, improves GPS based mapping and computer vision, while optimizing intelligent and applicable insights through advanced machine learning capabilities.
Analyst reports have found landscaping services in the U.S. generated $101.7 billion in revenue in 2020, while commercial landscaping services (maintenance and general services) have been projected to range between 40 and 60 percent of the overall landscaping service industry in the U.S.
Despite the major opportunity to capitalize on an approximate $53B market, commercial lawn mowing has remained an undisrupted industry. Small margins, labor limitations and increasing scrutiny on environmental impact has been met with a lack of impactful solutions.
Graze introduced an initial prototype model to address these challenges – applying artificial intelligence and robotics to create a fully autonomous commercial lawn mower. The early design proved to attract investor interest from major operators and also individual investors on crowdfunding platform SeedInvest (investment round still open). The new model will expand the design with new optimized features and incorporate in-the-field feedback from industry leaders to bring a sustainable solution to the commercial market.
“We are living in new era of artificial intelligence that stands to transform age-old industries,” said John Vlay, CEO for Graze Mowing. “Robotics and automation open up a world of efficiency, and when you apply intelligence, traditional models can be completely re-imagined.”
Vlay has been in commercial landscaping for more than 35 years.
“I can confidently say we built a lawn mower that will bring a new level of quality and safety to the market, and we are doing it sustainably,” he said. “We are excited to unveil the future of commercial lawn mowing with our new Graze commercial mower.”
The new model comes equipped with longer battery life. Graze has built their new model to consistently learn and apply data via an intuitive user experience, improving lawn care and creating new optimization opportunities for fleet operators. Machine learning, coupled with computer vision and a robust system of sensors allows the new Graze commercial lawn mower to map job sites, plan and execute mowing paths, avoid obstacles and dangerous inclines (i.e. trees, terrain, people etc.), while continuously collecting and apply data to further improve aesthetic quality and efficiency.
Powered completely by electric and solar panel technology, the new model allows operators to maximize revenue by deploying mowers during evening hours. Fuel costs are drastically cut, as are carbon emissions.
Current fleet operators manage 500 to 1,000 mowers, and replacing a fleet of 1,000 mowers with Graze’s electric mowers would be equivalent to removing over 37 million cars from the road.
Graze is backed by lead investor, Wavemaker Partners, a global Venture Capital fund with $400M AUM and Wavemaker Labs, a robotics and automation focused venture studio. The company features a seasoned team of robotics and commercial landscaping expertise made up of executives and founders from Jensen Landscaping, Miso Robotics, SpaceX and Microsoft. The company launched its seed capital raise on equity crowdfunding site SeedInvest. Through equity crowdfunding, any individual can invest in the company without large upfront costs. The democratized venture capital model allows everyday investors to be pioneers in the most cutting-edge technologies like robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. To date, more than $2M has been raised from individual investors, with pre-orders totally over $19 million via LOIs and Commercial Contracts.