Rubicon, a startup helping customers find money-saving, environmentally-friendly ways to handle their waste and recycling, is announcing the hire of its first chief technology officer — Phil Rodoni, previously vice president of software at Esurance.
Atlanta-based Rubicon doesn’t haul trash itself, but instead connects businesses with waste hauling and recycling companies through an online bidding process. It also works with companies to find new opportunities for recycling.
On average, the company says it saves customers an average of 20 percent in spending.
And while co-founder and CEO Nate Morris said he’s trying to innovate in an industry that “really hasn’t changed since ancient Rome,” he also admitted that the initial focus wasn’t on the tech: “We believed we had to prove ourselves in the industry first, and then apply the technology platform.”
For his part, Rodoni said he was a little skeptical at first, in part because “the only industry I can think of that’s a little less sexy than insurance is garbage.” But as he talked to Rubicon, he “immediately got the vision” for rethinking the waste management process, and he saw a big opportunity for both helping businesses and the environment.
As CTO, Rodoni said his goals will include improving the customer interface, creating more optimization tools for waste haulers and improving Rubicon’s backend as well.
“We’re in the best place to try and divert this so-called waste and transform waste into an asset,” he said.
Rodoni, who joined as CTO in April, will also be working with the company’s new executive advisor Oscar Salazar. Salazar was the founding CTO at Uber (he’s left Uber and earlier this year,launched a carpooling app called Ride). Besides the fact that Uber is worth billions, Morris argued that it’s also “the most analogous business model we could find” for what Rubicon is aiming for.
The company announced a $30 million funding round in January.