Recycling software startup Rubicon to go public via $2 bln SPAC deal

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People walk by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

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Dec 16 (Reuters) - Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Rubicon Technologies, a software maker for waste and recycling solutions, on Thursday agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Founder SPAC (FOUN.O) in a deal valuing the combined company at about $2 billion.

Climate awareness and investor interest in sustainable business practices has surged this year with money managers looking to factor in environmental social governance (ESG) policies as impact-investing gains momentum.

Rubicon, founded in 2008, provides technology-driven solutions for waste management to enterprises such as Starbucks (SBUX.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) in order to limit their emissions and carbon footprint.

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The deal with Founder SPAC (FOUN.O) will provide Rubicon with up to $432 million in gross proceeds - about $321 million from the special purpose acquisition company's (SPAC) trust account and $111 million from investors such as Palantir Technologies (PLTR.N), the New Zealand Super Fund and Rodina Capital.

SPACs are publicly-listed companies formed with the intention of merging with a private company at a later date. For the company going public, a SPAC merger serves as an alternative to a traditional IPO.

Rubicon intends to use the funds raised in the round to expand into untapped international markets, acquire new customers and scale its platform.

The Lexington, Kentucky-based company runs a network of 8,000 hauling and recycling partners in over 20 countries. Its roster of customers include Walmart (WMT.N), Chipotle (CMG.N) and FedEx (FDX.N), as well as major U.S. city governments including Kansas City and Baltimore.

After the deal closes, Rubicon will list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "RBT".

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Reporting by Manya Saini and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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