Thinking About Investing in Graze Autonomous Mowers?

Caleb Naysmith
Feb 24 · 5 min read
  • This is not financial advice. Investing in startups is extremely risky, and you should not be prepared to invest anything you are not prepared to lose in full.

Graze is a startup on Startengine.com that makes fully autonomous electric mowers. Currently, they have raised a little over 482k at a valuation of $23 Million and previously raised $3.7 Million in an earlier campaign. Since it’s not a public company, they are only required to report once per year, so it can often to be difficult to get the full picture. There are ways to gather more information regarding these companies. This has been done through regularly answering questions in the comment section, and updates on their page and so forth.

Timeline

  • Initial rollout and product launch Summer of 2021
  • Larger rollout and fulfillment of approximately 215 Pre-ordered units Early 2022
  • Currently in the process of designing various attachments to the Graze Mower. (Edging, Snow Blower, Etc)
  • Currently in the process of obtaining various patents for the technology.
  • Currently, they are one of 4 companies currently looking to go live on StartEngine Secondary, StartEngine’s own in-house StartUp stock market. The timeline for this hasn't been announced, but likely to happen after this current round of funding based on StartEngine’s published funding-to-market pipeline.

This seems promising to me, as there are real dates and a rough timeline for their main product. A lot of these startups are raising funds to build and design the product, where they are raising funds for the manufacturing and rollout phases. This seems like a positive indicator as far as investability.

I also find it intriguing given the fact they have already looked into expanding via selling attachments to their machines and collecting assets through obtaining patents.

The Competition

There is only 1 real competitor in their current space, and very little is known about it. On their page, there are 3 competitors listed, but these are all at-home mowers. Basically, Roombas for personal use lawn mowing. I do not see these being competitive as they aren’t even remotely in the same business. That main competitor is Mean Green. I say very little is known about it, because they basically unveiled the product… and that was it. There was a video and hyped up, and… nothing. They initially unveiled a device that looked very similar to Graze Mowing’s previous model but released a video of one of their normal riding mowers driving around. While it is the only mower in the same space to compete with Graze, it seems like Graze will be the first to market. Graze is currently also the only mower you can invest in currently as well.

Even if Mean Green does end up in the market around the same time, it would just be those two competing because there’s literally no competition right now. The market is PLENTY big enough for two companies. The main thing I like about this company is the fact there is no real barrier to entry for them. If it works like they say it will, they're selling a self-driving mower for the same price as a normal mower, and in the interest of cutting costs, everyone large company will adopt this technology. The money saved on gas and labor alone will more than pay for this.

Financials

Ultimately, we can’t know for sure what they look like financially, but there are some good indications. They are only required to be audited once a year, so a lot can happen during that time. I will say, don’t expect a profit for quite some time though, as they are well into the early stages of revenue growth and product development. Profit is just an unreasonable expectation for a while.

Big ones:

Highlights:

  • 484k raised at a 23 Million Valuation. 3.7 Million raised at a lower valuation, totaling a little over 4.1 million in cash raised.
  • (Jan 2020) 852,854 in Cash/Cash Equivalents(Assets), $1,307,789 in Debt/Liabilities.
  • They reported loaning out 647k at a 6% compound interest rate, as they “did not need the cash at the time” and wanted to capitalize on the high-interest rate.
  • 20 Million in non-binding pre-orders. They have several contracts to sell a little over 300 mowers at $30,000 a piece, and a monthly fee of $1000. Given the fact these are projected to last over 3 years (Average life of an industrial mower given daily use) given heavy daily use, that amounts to a little over 20 Million.
  • Revenue beginning Summer 2021 and full rollout by 2022, as discussed above
  • Recently updated their 5-year revenue goals: $990k, $5.76m, $56m, $308m, and $656m. Should they execute these properly, and given the fact that $100m+ revenue is generally the standard for going public, this is a good roadmap for that specific goal.

It is a startup with no revenue, so it’s difficult to know the full picture, but ultimately, it again sounds promising. They not only aren’t just letting their extra cash sit, chilling, but this also means they are meeting consistent goals with more than enough cash on hand. The short term growth and rollout prospects look promising

The Team

Basically, they started with 3 guys, and there’s not been a huge update about new hires since then. All 3 seem competent, but they did mention that they are currently in the hiring process, looking to expand productions and hiring engineers to develop new products. This is what their page has to say:

  • John Vlay, CEO: John led Jensen Landscape as Chairman, CEO, and President for eleven of his 35 years with this award-winning landscape construction and maintenance company. He designed/built one of San Francisco Bay Area’s first green roofs at the GAP headquarters and oversaw the iconic California Academy of Sciences’ green roof in Golden Gate Park.
  • Phillip Wong, Lead Engineer: Before joining Graze, Phillip spent 6 years as the Lead Engineer of Knightscope, which raised more than $25 Million in equity crowdfunding, which is the most capital raised via equity crowdfunding to date.
  • Rob Anderson, Robotics Advisor: Robotics Advisor, Rob Anderson is currently the Co-Founder and Head of Mechanical Engineering at Miso Robotics. Before Miso, Rob worked at Microsoft and SpaceX. He earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering at CalTech, where he founded an interdisciplinary program to evaluate the next generation of energy storage for vehicles.

I wouldn't call it a dream team or anything, but they definitely seem “Competent Enough” in my book. I can’t vouch for any of these guys, but then again, Elon Musk was a nobody at one point.

Conclusion

In the end, it’s a startup and it’s extremely risky, but in my opinion, it looks promising. They are focused on growth, expansion, and consistently hitting their goals. Revenue will begin soon, and there’s not a shortage of customers. This is just my findings personally, so definitely do your own due diligence before investing. All around though, I would say it’s looking like a solid company.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions feel free to make a post here and I’ll gladly answer any questions: https://www.reddit.com/r/StartEngineTrading/

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Caleb Naysmith

Written by

Law School Student at the University of Kentucky Army Reserve Officer - I write about Startups, StartEngine, Investing, and Finance related stories.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

Caleb Naysmith

Written by

Law School Student at the University of Kentucky Army Reserve Officer - I write about Startups, StartEngine, Investing, and Finance related stories.

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +787K followers.

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