Skip to main content

Waste-Disposal Startup Backed by Actor DiCaprio Sets $2B SPAC IPO

Rubicon has received investments from the actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and KKR Co-Founder Henry Kravis.

Waste-management startup Rubicon, also known as the “Uber of Trash,” is going public via special-purpose-acquisition-company Founder SPAC  (FOUN) - Get FOUNDER SPAC Report.

The pro forma equity value of the deal is $2 billion.

Rubicon will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RBT. 

The service, which connects independent trash haulers with businesses that need their dumpsters emptied, is backed by the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Rubicon has also received investments from Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get salesforce.com, inc. Report Chief Executive Marc Benioff. A co-founder of the private-equity icon KKR  (KKR) - Get KKR & Co. Inc. Report, Henry Kravis, as well as the hedge-fund investor Paul Tudor Jones have also backed Rubicon.

Rubicon's client roster includes Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report, Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report, Chipotle  (CMG) - Get Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Report and FedEx  (FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report.

Rubicon’s co-founder and chief executive, Nate Morris, said this transaction is a transformative step for Rubicon.

"While the waste and recycling category is highly resilient, it is ripe for improvements in efficiency and sustainability," Morris added.

The Lexington, Ky., company "markets itself as a technology-driven alternative to traditional waste management," The Wall Street Journal reported. Garbage, a $60 billion industry, has traditionally been low-tech.

TheStreet Recommends

The key: Rubicon gathers data to match its customers' trash and recycling to the appropriate outlet, Morris told the Journal.

Rubicon said it expected to grow in the coming years as it expands overseas and adds new customers to its current markets. The company is expected to clock about $577 million in revenue for 2021.

Founded in 2008, Rubicon is a digital marketplace for waste and recycling, and a provider of cloud-based waste and recycling solutions to businesses and governments. 

"Our main thesis with Founder SPAC" was to partner with a company "enabling digital transformation in a significant end market," Founder SPAC CEO Osman Ahmed said in a statement. 

The companies expect to close the deal in the second quarter. Founder SPAC went public in October.

Founder SPAC will give Rubicon $321 million, assuming no redemptions, at a share price of $10 a share. 

Rubicon said it would get $111 million through a private investment in public equity with Palantir Technologies,  (PLTR) - Get Palantir Technologies Inc. Class A Report New Zealand Super Fund, and Rodina Capital as part of the SPAC deal.

At last check Founder SPAC shares were trading up 1% at $9.95.

SPACs are formed for the express purpose of finding and merging with an operating partner. The idea is to speed an operating company to the public markets and avoid the extended process of a traditional initial public offering.