Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
EXCLUSIVE: Term Sheet has learned that Rubicon Global, an Atlanta-based waste management startup, has acquired RiverRoad Waste Solutions, a New Jersey-based waste and recycling company. RiverRoad confirmed the deal, though financial terms weren’t disclosed.
This is a rather surprising move as Rubicon has long marketed itself as the “Uber for trash,” and being a waste brokerage is a descriptor that the company has resisted. RiverRoad Waste is a registered waste broker. In other words, the company brokers agreements between business customers and trade waste removal companies.
You may remember Term Sheet’s coverage of Rubicon Global from last year. At the time, it had raised new funding that valued the tech company at $1 billion. Armed with ~$200 million in total venture funding at the time and a shiny new unicorn status, Rubicon claimed it was disrupting the $60 billion garbage industry with its proprietary tech.
In October, I reviewed multiple pitch decks presented to potential investors and spoke with former employees, former and current executives, potential investors who met the team and evaluated the company, and waste industry analysts. My research (as well as Bloomberg’s) raised concerns about the company’s growth and tech capabilities. One investor who passed on the company several times told me that Rubicon seemed like “a trash brokerage business masquerading as a tech company.” (You can read the full story here.)
With the new acquisition, it’s worth watching whether Rubicon pivots to a more traditional, brokerage business or whether it stays course as a sophisticated, high-growth startup.
Here’s an update on what has happened since we last wrote about Rubicon:
— More funding: It raised $65 million in funding from The New Zealand…