Some entrepreneurs set out to be entrepreneurs. For Graeme Gates, it was nowhere on his radar. That is, until a pivotal “last straw” moment in law school—one that stayed with him as a corporate and business law attorney for the Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Agency for the City of Chicago and TransUnion. And one that ultimately compelled him to leave his legal career to start Giggo, LLC, a game-changing platform that connects local home repair, general contractors, and maintenance business with homeowners, renters, landlords, office buildings, and property managers. Launched in October 2022, the Giggo mobile app quickly gained over 1,000 vendors and consumers from Baltimore to Chicago and across Miami, Orlando, and Palm Beach Florida—with requests pouring in from other cities. “Our vision is to be the go-to app for all on-demand maintenance and repair needs,” Graeme explains. From a broken pipe, leaky roof, electrical failure, faulty locks to wall repair, remodeling, and a host of other services, through Giggo, a licensed, insured, vetted professional will be there within two hours, 24/7.
So what else makes Giggo so different? “We give our business partners the advantages of having their own mobile app without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars to create their own. Our features are structured so that when they win, we win. We're in this fight for growth together,” says Graeme. With free sign-up, no subscription fees or paying for leads, Giggo’s mission is to deliver an effortless B2C experience with a comprehensive business management and payment system to all contractors who service residential and commercial properties. And they’re fulfilling that promise every day.
We met with Graeme to hear more about Giggo, how it works, and their expanding array of services—and the story of how a frigid winter night on the side of barren road inspired an app that is set to sweep the nation.
Let’s end the suspense for our readers. Tell us the story of that “final straw” moment that inspired you to start Giggo.
It was 2016. I was in law school at Southern Illinois University. One late winter night, my car wouldn’t start. I called a tow truck at 10:40 p.m. and by 2 a.m. they were still nowhere to be found. As I was waiting in my SUV, shivering in my blanket, I thought, “I can do this better.” That’s when Giggo was born. I got my law degree in 2017, started coding the app with a friend, and launched the company as a side gig in 2018 while working as a law clerk in Chicago. In 2021, I left my career and moved to Florida to focus entirely on Giggo.
In addition to general contracting, you also feature providers of other services. Tell us a little bit about these, and why you chose to offer an array of other services.
Our other services are laundry, cleaning, and landscaping. When we first started developing the platform in 2018, our first question was, “What services should residents have on demand?” The obvious answer to me was all of them. All professional services should be on-demand. Everyone should have access to a solution that provides a broad range of timely, efficient, and dependable services.
We chose to reach outside general contracting to laundry and cleaning mainly because when my wife and I were living in Chicago, laundry would occasionally build up because we were so busy. Our friends and family had the same problem. I started asking the people who came to help us about the industry and their pain points. Our conversations and subsequent email outreach confirmed that cleaning and laundry were a great match for our business model and platform. Landscaping was another solid addition. Downtown Chicago was our initial entry, but as we quickly realized that landscaping was a necessity for outlying areas as well. We wanted suburban residents to have access to the same A-Z support services as our Chicago market.
How can Giggo benefit both consumers and small businesses?
Having an automated app that cuts out the manual middleman and saves customers and businesses time, money, and overall headache. For residents, it currently takes six hours to several weeks to receive repair and maintenance services. Meanwhile the water damage is spreading, mold is growing, and costs keep increasing as the problem worsens. These problems compound exponentially if you’re a multi-unit landlord or property manager. We’ve reduced that time to four clicks and two hours per job.
Small to medium businesses spend hours fielding calls and emails that lead nowhere, managing and assigning jobs to staff, and tracking completion—every step, time and money are being wasted using manual methods where Giggo’s automated system fills the gap. Pre-paid customers request services directly from their service menu, the business receives a request notification that they can accept or decline. The invoice and payment are taken care of on-platform. Also, business owners and employees have access to the company’s own job board where their front desk can assign pending jobs or their professionals in the field can pick them up at the click of a button. No telephone tag, no pushing jobs around different systems, and substantially less time in between jobs. With Giggo, businesses can field more requests, fit more jobs into a single day, and cut out the inefficiencies that are holding them back.
What do you enjoy most about your work, or what drives you?
I’m driven by a singular question. “Why doesn’t the home maintenance industry have same day services?” You can get food, health, transportation, automotive, legal, creative, and many other services on-demand, why not home maintenance. Homes are assets, and should be managed and maintained with the same care as any other financial investment. Our goal is to maximize the value of every property while providing continual 24/7 services to all owners in the U.S. and around the world.
Founder & CEO — Giggo, LLC