New lawn care app comes to Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A lawn care app launched in Columbia to connect consumers with people who want to make extra money mowing lawns. 

MowMagic has separate apps for providers and for buyers. A consumer can download the app, post the job and decide what to pay. Consumers can even choose if they want the yard trimmed or the grass blown. Providers get a notification and a satellite image of the property, and can then decide whether or not to take the job. 

The app is only available in three cities in the country: St. Louis, Columbia, and Beaumont, Texas. It launched in St. Louis in mid-May, and in Columbia on Monday. 

One co-founder said the company chose to launch in Columbia for two reasons: its proximity to the company's home base in St. Louis, and the number of college students who may be looking for extra cash. 

Co-founder Mike Braun said he wanted to start the company to make lawn care simple.

"Push a button, get a mow," Braun said. "The process doesn't need to be complicated, but it is in today's world." 

Braun said he experienced his own frustrations with trying to find a reliable lawn service. 

"Calling five or three different landscaping companies to come give you a quote is time that you could spend doing something else that you enjoy," Braun said. 

Braun said the company's goal is not to compete against established lawn services in Columbia, but to provide a simpler service for a home owner. 

"In today's world, on-demand services are becoming more and more prevalent and more and more useful to consumers," he said. 

Braun said MowMagic could be more for individuals or for small lawn care companies looking for more business. 

Keith Headd, with McVey Mowing in Columbia, said the business is looking into using technology to gain clientele. 

"We're expanding next year and thought about using a couple apps," Headd said. 

Headd said he had not yet heard of MowMagic. 

Braun said the app already has 20 downloads in Columbia, which, he said, is a good start. 

"Ideally, you could post a job today or tomorrow and it would get picked up and get mowed," he said. 

Braun said the company hopes to expand to 20 to 40 markets next year.