- France-based Suez has acquired a stake in Rubicon Global and led a $50 million funding round as part of a new strategic partnership between the two companies.
- Suez will use Rubicon's technology — which includes a cloud-based hauler management platform, customer portal and mobile apps — in its European fleet.
- This will also give Suez an opportunity to re-enter the U.S. market and work with Rubicon to challenge the industry's largest players such as Waste Management and Republic Services. Suez currently owns Waste Management's former overseas assets, as reported by Forbes.
Details on how the new round of funding will be used remain unclear, though this announcement alone marks a major step forward for a company that has attracted a lot of buzz over the past few years. By helping Suez optimize collections, particularly for small customers across large areas, Rubicon will gain valuable experience for taking on new accounts in the U.S. as well. The alliance has been billed as a "groundbreaking strategic partnership to revolutionize the waste industry."
Rubicon recently announced its first municipal contract with Atlanta for a six-month pilot program to test its technology in the city's collection fleet. Last year, Rubicon also announced a new financing program for its network of small haulers and a partnership with data company Trucost to provide better emissions data. These are among a number of intriguing new approaches that have earned Rubicon the oft-used title of a "disruptor" in the waste industry.
The deal also marks another notable step in Suez's growth as a company that's more focused on circular rather than linear waste disposal methods. Suez purchased a 30% stake in TerraCycle's European operations last fall to expand its ability to recycle the variety of challenging materials that the New Jersey company is known for specializing in.