Leonardo DiCaprio Just Invested in This Trash Startup
The Hollywood star has joined a list of well-known private investors in Rubicon, a startup working on an Uber-like app for trash hauling.
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in a fast growing garbage startup as part of its latest round of funding.
The startup, Rubicon, uses software to manage a network of independent waste haulers that bid on picking up trash from business customers like 7-Eleven SE -2.28% and Wegmans. The company’s sales pitch is that businesses can reduce their trash bills and more efficiently find nearby places to recycle, resell, and haul off their garbage.
DiCaprio has funded environmentally-focused tech companies before. For example, he backed electric car maker Fisker Automotive and was also an early customer. Rubicon didn’t disclose the size of DiCaprio’s investment.
Nima Capital led the $50 million funding round. The firm has also backed tech companies like data startup Palantir and Indian e-commerce site Flipkart.
Other investors in Rubicon’s round included Goldman Sachs GS -3.00% , Wellington Management Company, Henry Kravis (the co-founder of KKR) and Paul Tudor Jones II (the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation).
The company says with this funding, Rubicon is valued at $500 million. Rubicon CEO Nate Morris—who landed on Fortune’s list of ’40 under 40′ in 2014—told Fortune last month that the company has been eying an IPO.
In addition to the funding details, the company says it has brought on political strategist, and recent Uber advisor, David Plouffe to its board of advisors. Plouffe isn’t the company’s first recently-added Uber connection.
Earlier this year, Rubicon hired Uber’s founding chief technology officer, Oscar Salazar, as its chief technology advisor and to help create an app that would operate as an “Uber for trash.” Rubicon also hired Uber’s former CFO Brent Callinicos.
The company’s app, which is supposed to be available in select cities by the end of the year, will offer on-demand trash pick up, similar to how the Uber app can provide a ride service.
Rubicon closed on a round of $30 million earlier this year, which included funds from Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. The company will spend the two funding rounds to expand its current business and branch out into the consumer market with its Uber-style app.
Morris told Fortune last month that the company has doubled in size every year for the past three years. The company now has 60,000 locations where its network of trash haulers can pick up garbage or recycling.
Rubicon is one of a growing number of startups using the latest in computing and wireless technology to try to upend an industry that hasn’t traditionally used much technology. The trash business is dominated by giants like Waste Management WM -0.54% , but has seen little in the way of innovation.