Thinking About Thinking

Why Volition Capital Invested In Recycle Track Systems (RTS)

At Volition, we have often talked about how the Internet is changing the workflow for every company in every industry on the planet.  For that reason, we have always loved investing in the disruptive companies that are transforming the workflow or supply chain of large existing markets with low technology adoption.  That is why we invested in Chewy, which became the disruptive leader in the pet food retailing sector and was ultimately acquired for over $3 billion in what many have hailed as the largest e-commerce acquisition ever.  We also invested in Globaltranz, which has become one of the leading technology-enabled freight brokerages and is on its way to $1 billion in annual revenue.  Today, we are pleased to announce our newest investment which plays directly into this theme, Recycle Track Systems (RTS).

RTS, based in New York City, is a next-generation, technology-enabled commercial waste hauler – or as they like to say – a garbage company without trucks.  The problem that RTS addresses is simple. Let’s say you’re a business that has trash and recycling pick-up needs, so you contract with a waste hauler for that service.  Any variety of businesses have this need such as building owners, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, universities, sports arenas, corporations, hospitals, etc.  RTS has great customers across many of these categories.  What we’ve come to appreciate is that many of these customers can experience service challenges because the level of technology adoption and data visibility in the waste management industry has lagged behind many other industries.

Practically, what problems arise for these businesses?  Pick-ups are missed, which leads to trash being left out, often in violation of city regulations.  There’s limited visibility into when trucks are coming for collection, which may require involvement from your facilities team.  Despite you separating recycling and composting from traditional waste, your hauler doesn’t actually take this specialized waste to the right facilities – so there’s a lack of accountability.  There’s no accurate tracking of recycling and composting to help you reach your stated sustainability goals.  It’s hard to order additional pick-up of excess waste, due to the absence of on-demand services.  The list goes on and on.

RTS aims to use technology and a deep commitment to service to bring a fundamentally higher-quality offering to its customers in the commercial waste management market.  RTS’ model is to truly partner with independent waste haulers by providing them with a hardware/software solution for their trucks to enable better route management, tracking, scheduling and mobile app integration.  Haulers within the RTS network then get increased revenue opportunities by being paired with blue chip customers within their region for both recurring and on-demand waste collection needs.  RTS’ enterprise customers get greater service levels, transparency, visibility, reliability, accountability, and on-demand mobile capabilities for their waste management needs.  It’s a business model where everybody wins.

We couldn’t be more excited to lead an $11.7M Series A financing in RTS, and I am very pleased to join the Board of Directors.  We have gotten to know the founders, Greg Lettieri and Adam Pasquale, over the past year, and we have deep respect for their vision, passion, and commitment to service.  We are extremely impressed with the quality of customers they have been able to win as a young company in a mature industry.  We love the fact that the commercial waste management industry is huge, since any and every business you see has waste collection needs and could be RTS customers.  We are also intrigued by the fact that this market has had very low penetration of technology while being one of the most recurring and predictable markets in existence.  It is a market that is ripe for a new technology-oriented leader to emerge with a differentiated commitment to high service, and we are proud to partner with RTS to become that next-generation leader in commercial waste management.

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