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Self-described Uber for lawn care comes to Baltimore

When Gene Caballero was in high school and college, he mowed lawns to save up for a scooter. The 39-year-old’s ambitions are a little bigger now.

He’s co-founder of GreenPal, an app that aims to be the Uber of lawn mowing.

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The company, which launched in Nashville in 2012, went live in Baltimore this month, part of an expansion that Caballero hopes will make the company active in every major market by 2020.

About 120,000 homeowners around the country already have signed up for the app. They enter their address and receive quotes for lawn care from vendors who are pre-screened for recommendations, banks accounts and the like.

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GreenPal, which takes a 5 percent cut from each transaction, handled roughly 70,000 transactions worth about $5 million last year.

This year, it expects the figures to jump to about 250,000 and $19 million, Caballero said.

While there are similar apps out there, Caballero said he hopes the services GreenPal offers to companies, including handling payments and scheduling, will set it apart. So far, about 3,500 vendors across 20 states have signed on.

“What we kind of hitch our trailer to is we are the first true operating system for lawn care professionals,” he said. “Our biggest competitor — it’s still always the status quo.”

He said users of the app are a mix, most of them homeowners with a sprinkling of real estate agents and property managers.

No lawn is too small, but the estimated price per cut in Baltimore is about $35, according to the website.

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