The Story Behind our Work with Wastack
A few years ago, during a Founder Fuel cohort (before Demo Day), a few sources told me about an Artificial Intelligence/IoT founding team in the batch who were on a mission to remove birds from landfills. As we were reviewing startups, we flagged this one for being different in nature. And as I dug in more, I began to uncover how little I know about the incontestable disruption of the waste management industry. Within a few days, I got connected to Julien Chosson, and Mathieu Hamel (back then Lockbird), and we immediately went to work.
Fast-forward to early 2019, and the debate around automated bird mitigation accuracy — mainly challenged by predatory birds like falcons and hawks — have over efficiency and risk reduction was fogging their value proposition. Both the stakes and corresponding tension were high. I faintly recall a status email Julien sent asking for product help. I put in an offer to have Bain Public lead their product efforts. We ended up winning the deal (they also found a great large VC investor), but in the process of talking to Julien about it, he introduced to us his vision of building a world-class company that helps landfills automate their operations to increase their efficiency while reducing their risks and impact on the environment.
I know the Waste Management industry in the U.S. is huge and growing, but it was this AI-enabled Landfills vision of automating every vertical which motivated us to partner and help. We studied the Landfill market and realized Wastack was on to something subtle but big —Landfills are a massive opportunity due to the cost of human capital in the $485b waste management industry. And, by collecting data on the field they can rethink business models, improve processes, speed up production, increase services potential, and design exceptional products. So I credit both Julien and Mathieu for thinking big, getting this far and making a strong case — and HAX for making the seed round bet on the team.
I have spent a ton of time with the team, and I have never once seen or heard them complain about the fight they have ahead of them — instead, they find it fun, they thrive on the challenge. In helping them refine their vision, define their product roadmap and then helping them bridge the strategy-execution gap, it’s easy to introduce Wastack and vouch for them.