- Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has made an undisclosed investment in trash startup Rubicon Global, which uses software to manage a network of independent waste haulers that bid on picking up trash from businesses, including 7-Eleven and Wegmans.
- Rubicon's most recent round of funding also included investments from Goldman Sachs, Wellington Management Company, and Paul Tudor Jones II. The Atlanta-based company reported that with this latest round of funding, it's valued at $500 million.
- Rubicon last month hired John Bax of Living Social as its chief financial officer. The hire puts Rubicon in a position to become public, possibly in the next year or two.
Rubicon plans to launch an app for consumers that will offer on-demand trash pickup, similar to Uber's ride-service app. The app should be in select cities by the end of the year.
Outside of its business model, Rubicon has other Uber connections, Fortune reported. Uber’s founding chief technology officer, Oscar Salazar, is now Rubicon's chief technology adviser and will help create the app; recent Uber adviser and political strategist David Plouffe is on Rubicon's board of advisers; and former Uber chief financial officer Brent Callinicos was hired.
Rubicon, which recently made a big splash at WASTECON, aims its business model at small, independent haulers. With Rubicon's technology, CEO and co-founder Nate Morris says that "everyone can get in the game." Allowing consumers to customize their collection pickup gives smaller haulers an opportunity to become a part of the "shared economy" and engage in the industry in a new way.