Business

Thursday 22 August 2019

Kollect aims to become 'Uber of waste' as it eyes fundraising and UK move

Customers book waste collections through Kollect’s booking engine and it then subcontracts to local partners who operate bin collections, junk removal or skip hire services.
Customers book waste collections through Kollect’s booking engine and it then subcontracts to local partners who operate bin collections, junk removal or skip hire services.

Fearghal O'Connor

Waterford startup Kollect is aiming to be "the Uber of waste" with plans to move into the UK market, it has said.

A new fundraising round for up to €1m later this year will fund its move to bring its online waste collection booking system to the UK. It also continues the rollout of its services nationwide, partnering with a wide range of waste businesses.

Customers book waste collections through Kollect's booking engine and it then subcontracts to local partners who operate bin collections, junk removal or skip hire services.

"Kollect's business model is similar to Uber, the on-demand taxi platform, but instead of moving people, Kollect moves waste," said John O'Connor, who founded the business with partners John Hegarty and Robbie Skuse. "We have identified a route to market for the UK. Our first city is Manchester, and the population there is bigger than all of Ireland in its entirety."

Kollect is the only company operating this type of booking engine for the waste sector, said O'Connor, describing it as "a completely innovative technology solution to a worldwide problem".

Kollect has also been on the acquisition trail, purchasing two local waste companies, as well as the Big Bin company, which owns and operates compactors on petrol forecourts and at shopping centres throughout Ireland.

O'Connor, who originally founded Big Bin but later sold out of it, said it would now focus on providing data for apartment complex waste disposal.

"The premise of our software is that we can provide property management companies with reports relating to who is using which bin and how often, weights of rubbish and other relevant data. With this information, they can incentivise recycling by encouraging recycling to those who continually use only the general waste bins. This will, in turn reduce their waste bill."

O'Connor said Kollect's overall mission was "to create simple ways to collect and recycle waste, innovating customer service and creating consumer delight. We work really hard on creating simple ways to get customers' waste collected while innovating in customer service. This is a new modern era of startups akin to Uber, AirBnb, and Just Eat using contractors to perform the fulfilment and focusing on rapid customer acquisition.

"Customers can use our website to receive a quote for the job, a date for collection and the ability to book and pay online or using cash - the customer is totally in charge of their waste collection needs."

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