As homeowners, one of the most important chores is mowing the lawn. However, it’s also one of the most taxing obligations. Now, imagine that on a much larger scale. Though commercial landscaping is a huge, multi-billion-dollar industry, it features multiple inefficiencies — often making the business a loss leader. However, Graze promises to change this dynamic entirely with electric, fully autonomous lawnmowers. And naturally, many high rollers have sought to invest in Graze stock.
Among the equity crowdfunding names that are available, this is one of the most visible — and perhaps incredibly viable. On the surface, the company is in the right sector. According to a Statista and IBISWorld study, the U.S. landscaping services industry hit revenue of $94.7 billion in 2019. That was up 3.3% from the year prior, and experts call for 2020 sales to hit $97.8 billion.
And while the novel coronavirus pandemic may negatively impact the final tally, the overall trend is clear: landscaping is a robust industry that is relatively insulated from economic downturns. Within this broader sector, commercial landscaping represents a $54 billion segment, according to Graze’s SeedInvest.com profile.
However, the main issue with commercial landscaping is that labor accounts for roughly half a service provider’s cost. But, by using Graze’s autonomous lawnmowers, management estimates that it could cut down that figure by half or more. Thus, we have a very compelling reason to invest in Graze stock. Through mass-scale cost reductions, commercial landscaping no longer has to be a loss leader.
With all of that in mind, though, here are three other reasons why you should invest in Graze stock.
Leveraging Clean Energy
One of main reasons why modern consumers have gravitated toward electric vehicles (EV) is their low environmental impact. Obviously, EVs don’t emit carbon-based fumes, which can be deadly in certain conditions (such as operating an engine in an enclosed, unventilated space).
According to Graze’s investor video presentation, one hour of operation of a traditional gasoline-powered lawnmower emits as much fumes as a combustion-engine car idling for 40 hours. And while that sounds ridiculously exaggerated at first, it’s not. From a report by Kqed.org, gas-powered gardening equipment poses severe air quality threats due to their inefficiencies.
Well, with electric lawnmowers, you eliminate that air quality issue right away. Furthermore, Graze’s equipment is whisper quiet — meaning that you can run them at night. That’s a huge advantage for both productivity and the environment; hence, the massive demand to invest in Graze stock
Holistic Labor Savings Drives the Narrative to Invest in Graze Stock
As mentioned above, Graze’s autonomous equipment does away with at least half of the labor costs associated with commercial landscaping. And, thanks to advanced engineering and intelligent sensors, the company’s lawnmowers can detect obstacles and areas that are not designated for lawnmowing. Additionally, it recognizes people and other living beings — preventing devastating accidents.
However, it’s not just about reducing headcount. In a physical work environment like landscaping, businesses can’t completely avoid the possibility of injury. In fact, in the U.S., work-related injuries represent massive cost outlays. On average, each worker injury costs $1,100. But medically consulted injuries cost a staggering $41,000.
Thus, by eliminating the headcount, you’re greatly reducing the probability of a devastating worker’s compensation case. And with the autonomous nature of Graze, the operational chances of getting injured are significantly reduced.
Reliability Bolsters This Equity Crowdfunding Opportunity
As I stated earlier, modern consumers love EVs. In addition to the lower environmental impact, these new-generation drivers love the electric platform’s inherent reliability. Compared to their gasoline-powered counterpart, EVs feature fewer moving parts. And that means drivers don’t have to change oil, which can be a costly expense.
That said, it’s the same principle with electric lawnmowers. You have a much simpler platform, which can run for years with little required maintenance. So for landscaping companies that are constantly moving from one job site to another, this added reliability is a lifesaver.
Not Completely Without Its Faults
As a private investing opportunity, Graze offers plenty of upside. However, there are multiple risks which you should consider before diving in.
Primarily, virtually all private investing ventures lack information relative to what you find with publicly traded companies. Therefore, it’s important to perform your due diligence. Second, if you invest in Graze stock, you’re buying into a largely illiquid asset. So if you find yourself needing to sell your position for cash, you may not readily find a buyer.
Now, the above is true for most equity crowdfunding plays. And specific to Graze, electric-powered lawnmowers aren’t without their faults. Obviously, with newer, autonomous technology, such innovations don’t come cheap. Graze has an intended “subscription pricing model of $12,000 per year, per mower and $30,000 upfront equipment price.”
Frankly, you can find equivalent “analog” equipment for far cheaper. Granted, the autonomous technology distinguishes Graze. However, some landscaping businesses just might not have the capital to spend.
Furthermore, electric lawnmowers may be environmentally friendly but they’re not terribly productive. They take a very long time to get their job done, and that poses issues for high-volume clients.
A New Way Forward for an Old Industry
Despite the challenges, the overall case to invest in Graze stock is incredibly compelling. Thanks to groundbreaking automated technologies, Graze is offering an innovative solution to one of the oldest industries.
Therefore, if you’re interested in taking a shot, Graze stock is offered at $5.80 a share (preferred equity) with a minimum investment of $998.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.
Investing through equity and real estate crowdfunding or asset tokenization requires a high degree of risk tolerance. Despite what individual companies may promise, there’s always the chance of losing a portion, or the entirety, of your investment. These risks include:
1) Greater chance of failure
2) Risk of fraudulent activity
3) Lack of liquidity
4) Economic downturns
5) Dearth of investor education
Read more: Private Investing Risks
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.