Ready for round two this week?? It was nice to see a little rebound in tech stocks and Bitcoin yesterday. I’m convinced that institutional investors feeling FOMO or purposefully tank the crypto market (or it’s just over leveraged investors combating volatility as they also seek to hedge). Either way, it’s the single biggest reason I’m a little skeptical of Bitcoin’s long-term viability (I still bought the dip, naturally).
Another cool asset class that I’ve been hot on is sports cards (and sports betting). I talk about it a lot on my podcast (see Darren Rovell episode). But, I recently found a very interesting correlation — during playoff hoops for example, if a notable rookie or not-yet-a-star player gets hot, his rookie card value skyrockets, especially if it’s PSA 10, signed or rare. I find myself scooping up cards for players of teams I am betting on like the Mavs or Knicks and flipping Tim Hardaway Jr and Derrick Rose cards for a nice profit… might be worth a look, especially if you grew up as I did collecting cards!
For my noobs; every week I breakdown a startup pitch with the added hook that you don’t have to be a rich dude to invest (if you don't know what that means, click here).
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Graze is builds fully autonomous, electric commercial lawn mowers.
Meet the Cybertruck of lawn maintenance — what a sexy beast! Graze will undoubtedly enter the residential market someday, but for now, they’re focused on a $100b commercial landscaping business by building super efficient mowers (that will eventually expand into charging trailers, and other utilities). Put simply, imagine every golf course, field, park or campus needing only a gigantic outdoor Roomba to maintain itself?? That’s Graze.
Meet the Founder
Watch my full interview with Graze founder, here.
John Vlay is Graze’s Founder & CEO. Prior to this, 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.
John is a commercial landscaping industry veteran. If you listen to John for 1 minute this entire thing just clicks. He’s a very innovative thinker — which you do not typically associate with landscaping. But, if you follow each stop along John’s career journey a trend appears; he’s that key change agent that propels brands and entire industries forward (he also has fantastic hair 🤷♂️).
Commercial contracts executed by Mainscape, Sundale Country Club and Miranda’s Landscape for a total of 215 mowers worth a combined potential value of over $19.35 million
Backed by lead investor, Wavemaker Partners, a global Venture Capital fund with $500M AUM and Wavemaker Labs, an automation focused venture studio
Graze is simultaneously chasing two markets, a $100b commercial landscaping and $15b golf course market, both are obvious and the cost mechanics work heavily in their favor — in fact, everything works in there favor except resistance to change in an industry filled with old machines operated by old people. Regardless, bot-controlled maintenance is inevitable, the savings are just too big!
Terms & Takeaway
Invest in Graze here 👉 https://bit.ly/3fMWq9l
Security Type: Equity
Valuation Cap: $23,000,000
Investment Goal: $10,000,000
Raised (as of publishing): $5,702,412
Minimum Investment: $498.80
Here's what I like: I’m a big fan of Reg A+ deals because you are buying actual shares. The price is typically higher, especially in more mature startups such as Graze. But, the upside and ability to actually participate in rounds along side institutional investors is always a bonus! Beyond the deal type; I really like John as a leader and the machines are simply gorgeous — with tons of software growth opportunity!
Here's what I don't love: My gripe would be similar to early Tesla bears who argued, “what do you know that Ford (John Deere) can’t figure out?” And, it turns out a lot actually. But, as great as John is, he’s not Elon Musk! Additionally, the cost of batteries and lithium (especially as most cars go EV) is a real issue and I don’t see Graze following Tesla in building gigafactories — so they can’t control the price or defend entrants other than to grow fast enough to hold leverage over suppliers. Furthermore, with residential electric mowers and blowers from EGO and others already buying up battery supply, not much stops them from getting into commercial automation too.
All of that said, the power of being a first-mover with industry relationships that enabled you to pre-sell nearly $20m in product + the SaaS play (again, similar to Tesla) Graze is off to a healthy market lead.
Who should invest and why: Oddly, the SaaS play is real here. Any Tesla owner can vouch for this. If you like SaaS businesses with great margins this is an outside-the-box deal. Additionally, if you own or manage commercial real estate you can likely help Graze land more contracts which boosts your odds — something I am a big fan of. The vast majority of deals I invest in, I make it a goal to help them bring in revenue equal or greater to my investment. In the end, if you believe in what I do — that EV and robots are a foregone conclusion — Graze should be of interest to you.
Lastly, with a minimum investment just under $500 at a $23m price tag, it’s not a cheap deal by any stretch, but getting in on a $100b+ market, with inevitable adoption, great unit economics, and sales; it’s worth a peak!
As always, startup investing is super high risk, anything can happen. So, don't go invest money you can’t bury in your yard... 🚜💸
Invest in Graze here 👉 https://bit.ly/3fMWq9l
Questions? DM me on Twitter @kitun