After a tumultuous year that saw it become a target for the waste industry’s big players, Rubicon Global has emerged as tech’s first unicorn in trash.
The deal values Rubicon Global at more than $1 billion, according Nate Morris, the company’s cofounder and CEO. “It’s been a challenging year, but we’ve had incredible highs,” Morris said in an interview.
A software challenger that connects haulers with companies and municipalities who need their waste picked up, Rubicon Global has grown fast in the face of what Morris calls an oligopoly of public companies led by Waste Management, Republic Services and Waste Connections, which carry a market capitalization of more than $70 billion between the three of them.
As Rubicon Global keeps expanding, it’s faced increasing attention from the industry’s leaders this year including a spate of lawsuits.
In one such suit, Waste Connections accused a former employee who’d moved to Rubicon of downloading thousands of pages of proprietary documents before making the switch.
In others, Rubicon has been accused of wrongfully towing containers of its competitors away from properties after the businesses there switched to Rubicon.
The Chico family has business interests in infrastructure and waste and performed extensive diligence on Rubicon, according to Chico, Promecap’s chairman and CEO. “Rubicon has the vision for how the waste and recycling industry will evolve,” he says.