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Trash Warrior’s Lily Shen Shares Her Plans For Recent $8M Funding Round

Managing a warehouse is a difficult challenge. Many intertwined elements must be constantly monitored in order to ensure the efficiency and success of the company and its employees.

With all of these different variables to track, the ones that are easily swept under the rug are waste and recycling services.

You might think these things are intuitive for growing businesses in the B2B space, however, with so many different collection services, waste facilities and landfills, this information can quickly become convoluted and difficult to oversee. for operations.

Trash Warrior helps haulers and recyclers struggling with this issue, with a mission to connect businesses looking for easy, accessible and manageable ways to dispose of their waste with the haulers and recyclers who can.

The San Francisco-based waste management service provider founded by Lily Shen has ambitious goals of spreading across the country.

“It sucks being a warehouse manager with an excessive volume of trash piled up in your warehouse, and you post on Craigslist asking people to remove the trash,” Shen said in a recent interview with Waste360. “The proper functioning of these warehouses is a crucial part of daily life.”

Shen discusses the importance of establishing streamlined recycling systems within B2B companies.

Trash Warrior uses data to form a network of waste collection providers and B2B customers. The platform connects these businesses within these two parties based on a number of variables such as availability, sustainability requirements, and pricing.

“We’re trying to dramatically improve the waste management experience for customers and suppliers in the US B2B space,” Shen says.

To launch a business afloat, financing is a necessity. Fortunately for this important service, Trash Warrior began to attract the attention of many investors interested in supporting this company, but it was not always so.

“It was exciting that someone other than me believed in this idea.”

The first $100,000 was funded by Shen’s friends and family.

“I was basically using my own network to prove an idea,” Shen expresses.

Using that money to build the technology platform, Trash Warrior has since grown into a stable program that investors are willing to put their money into.

In its recent pre-A funding round, the company received $8 million led by AltaIR Capital, with additional contributions from Amino Capital, Operator Partners, Vermilion Ventures, Hyphen Capital, Primavera Capital, Sand Hill Angels, Lombard Street Ventures and 500 Startups.

The company Trash Warrior and Shen also participated in 500 Startups, a program it likens to a college course, designed to meet the professional needs of businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“Our overall marketing strategy has been improved and perfected. We have improved a lot in our time with 500 startups,” Shen says of his experience.

With a well-established technology and marketing system developed, the recently acquired fund will be used to expand the company’s network of users and suppliers and strengthen its data to better support sustainable waste practices.

“With the new funding round, we hope to build and use a very detailed waste diversion database, for every waste stream and every zip code in the United States,” she says.

The funding will allow Trash Warrior to further invest in their technology to grow.

“Customers not only care about waste disposal, but also where it goes and whether it’s recycled or not,” Shen shares.

She explains that in the early days of the business, once waste was picked up from the B2B site, it was up to the waste hauler to decide where it would be dumped.

Trash Warrior now hopes to amass enough information to set up a streamlined system for getting waste from B2B companies to carriers and then to their appropriate recycling facilities.

“Now we are trying more and more to have control [over where the waste is brought] based on our destination information. »

Now it’s up to Trash Warrior to use those funds to propel them and their waste reduction efforts.

Shen expresses her excitement for what’s to come for the company.

“I feel excited for sure, but it’s also a lot of responsibility. I feel much more enthusiastic every day about serving customers and improving the quality of life of our small, often family-owned suppliers. »

Using these recent funds, Trash Warrior as a whole is excited to take responsibility for networking with amazing companies and doing so in a way that also positively impacts the environment.

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