Pegasus Sustainability Nabs $2M to Develop Cleanup-facilitating Tools
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portion of the money for itself, and gives the rest to the disposer, Hope says. But this distinction is of little importance to someone who is looking to offload waste; Hope says the software has algorithms that help route requests based on cost, location, and other factors.
Before striking out on his own, Hope was an executive at Safety-Kleen, an environmental services company based in the Dallas area. In 2012, Safety-Kleen was sold for $1.25 billion to Norwell, MA-based Clean Harbors (NYSE: CLH). Hope says Clean Harbors is one of the big players in waste disposal, along with Lake Forest, IL-based Stericycle (NASDAQ: SRCL).
Pointing to other recent acquisitions, Hope says the industry is going through a “consolidation phase,” that’s turned out to be auspicious for Pegasus. One reason is that his company concentrates on waste generators in smaller metropolitan areas, who Hope says are “generally poorly served” by companies like Clean Harbors and Stericycle.
“As these companies get bigger, they tend to focus on core customers,” he says. “All of the big companies that you’d normally be afraid of are moving away from our market, not closer to it.”
Like Uber—whose ride-hailing app essentially allows anyone with a smartphone, vehicle, and driver’s license to become a cab driver—Pegasus’s balance sheet is relatively light on capital assets, Hope says. This has allowed the business to scale up quickly, he says, especially compared to those competitors who have built out a network of brick-and-mortar locations.
“This isn’t a business that eats a lot of cash,” Hope says. “We don’t need to build things or buy things. We’re very close to being self-sustaining, from a cash standpoint.”
Hope says that while the current focus is on growing Pegasus into a $100 million company “as fast as possible,” an eventual exit is something that shouldn’t be ruled out. He says that could be in the form of a strategic sale to a competitor like Clean Harbors, or perhaps a private equity firm or a company like InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IAC), the parent organization of HomeAdvisor.
“They could be interested because we’re building this really efficient network of platforms,” Hope says. “There’s a lot of different options. The trick is to be profitable and successful and growing rapidly.”