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Bootstrapping with Paycheck to $15 Million from Tennessee: Gene Caballero, CEO of GreenPal (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Nov 3rd 2018

Sramana Mitra: How big a company do you think you can build? Obviously, you probably have a sense of the total market that you can access. What is the size of that market?

Gene Caballero: The landscaping industry is about a $9 billion a year industry. Our TAM is almost limitless. In 2019, we want to be in all the major top 100 markets. Then in 2020, we’re going to double back and hit some of those sub-markets in those areas. By then, our revenues should be in the neighborhood of $80 million a year.

Sramana Mitra: Right now, you’re doing it with just the two of you. Do you use a lot of outsourced resources?

Gene Caballero: We have about 20 contractual workers that we use for design, implementation, and data aggregation. We have a team of about 20 total freelancers on a daily basis to help us manage this thing.

Sramana Mitra: Are these people local or are you doing this as a virtual team?

Gene Caballero: Of the 20, 18 are probably virtual. We have about two or three content creators and designers that are in the US.

Sramana Mitra: Great. You grew really well. You’re saying that you can get to $80 million. What kind of team addition do you need?

Gene Caballero: In a perfect world, probably more developers. We are constantly in touch with all the vendors that use our platform. We’re able to aggregate that data and make it as easy as possible for them to spend money. For the vendor side, we keep our ear close to the Facebook group and listen to what they like and don’t like. They tell us what they want us to build. For some of the implementation, we wish we could move a little bit faster. We’re moving fast enough.

Sramana Mitra: This is hyper-fast growth. Right now, you’re growing at a pace that’s a venture capitalist’s dream. You’re doing fine.

Gene Caballero: We didn’t know what we were doing in those first couple of years.

Sramana Mitra: It takes time to figure these things out.

Gene Caballero: It takes twice as long you think it’s going to take. It’s going to take twice as much money that you think it’s going to take and twice the work that you think it’s going to take. It’s been a fun journey. It’s fun to see vendors come to us and say, “Because of you, I’m able to buy a new mower and hire my nephew.” We’ve all done it. You need to know the pain point of starting a landscaping business.

Sramana Mitra: How many lawn companies are on the platform now?

Gene Caballero: We have over 6,000 that are using GreenPal.

Sramana Mitra: If you get to $100 million, how many companies do you think that would be touching?

Gene Caballero: That would probably be in the neighborhood of 20,000 to 25,000.

Sramana Mitra: Excellent. I love your story. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping with Paycheck to $15 Million from Tennessee: Gene Caballero, CEO of GreenPal
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