RecycleSoft is an Entirely New Enterprise Level Software Genre
Consider the following wish of a Senior VP or Environmental Compliance Officer (ECO) at an imaginary Global Fortune 5,000 company. This company has operations in, say, 50 countries across all continents (except Antarctica). One thousand locations and fifty thousand suppliers. The CEO would like an exact picture down to the pound of everything recycled to a level of detail that even differentiated the different types of, for example, batteries that were recycled. The CEO wants to have this in real-time and to the extent that if one of his suppliers’ cardboard recyclers in Sao Paulo, Brazil produced a 421Lb bale of cardboard it will be reported instantly.
Ideally the CEO would then like to be able to report, in a browser, visually, in real-time in any language everything recycled, globally, regionally, by country, by state, city and individual facility and at all these levels be able to drill up or down by commodity (steel, plastic, glass, cardboard, electronics waste etc), then drill into those commodities – weight of PC’s, laptops or servers under ewaste, for example. Then switch between Lbs to Carbon Footprint. And it needs to be lightning fast; nobody likes waiting for reports.
How does this ECO get the guy bailing cardboard at a subcontractor in Sao Paulo, Brazil or the guy taking steel scrap to the metal yard in Dubai to report all this? Let alone all recyclables across 50,000 suppliers plus their own 1000 facilities worldwide. Remember, the guy bailing cardboard in Dubai or Sao Paulo probably doesn’t speak or read English either.
There are certain sets of business challenges that seem so insoluble that a solution seems impossible to conceive let alone deliver. Who would sit down and produce such a solution? Well, it’s taken nearly 20 years, many, many hundreds of thousands of lines of code over many development iterations. We had to wait for technology to catch up (smartphones) but it’s here. RecycleSoft has this solution.
First Mover Advantage
complex) business logic. If someone were to start from scratch with an unlimited budget this would be a 4-5 year project. Also, this is not a single software application.
Not Just Software
Barriers to Entry
Quite aside from the costs and challenges of producing a competitive suite of software there is the issue of domain knowledge. The business logic behind RecycleSoft is extremely complex – a potential competitor would have to acquire this domain knowledge before even starting to develop software.
RecycleSoft (the software) is not the only software owned by Recyclesoft. Operations within each R3Ewaste facility are run by another suite of software called Recycling Operations Management Suite (ROMS) which seamlessly communicates with Recyclesoft. ROMS itself is the product of development iterations over nearly 20 years.
RecycleSoft has also developed the ‘Dashboard’ program. This is yet another web based software application that communicates with the Recyclesoft platform and which is the ‘Front-end’ of the ‘drill anywhere’ reporting application.
Then there is the actual physical processing of ewaste and other recyclables supportive of a zero landfill policy. Not only would a potential competitor have to spend the money to produce an alternative suite of software products they would also have to develop domain experience in the physical processing of ewaste and other recyclables. They would also have to develop a product similar to ROMS to communicate with their yet to be developed competitor to the RecycleSoft platform.
RecycleSoft customers are not required to use R3Ewaste facilities to take full advantage of the Dashboard Reporting Program. RecycleSoft has developed a full suite of RecycleSoft multi-language client applications that run on Tablet, Android, Apple and Windows. Existing recycling downstreams may adopt ROMS and/or use the client apps to report recyclables.
On a technical level, all processing across all software is 100% through stored procedures within the database. All RecycleSoft software is therefore extremely scalable and extremely fast.
By the time a potential entrant had spent the time and large sums of money to develop a competitive product suite and processing infrastructure RecycleSoft would already be the entrenched market leader.
Other Monetization Opportunities
Recyclers sell their commodities to other recyclers. They also remarket refurbished equipment to established downstream buyers and the general public through various channels. As RecycleSoft grows it will increasingly have visibility of everything being recycled and thus available for sale. There are multiple opportunities to monetize this.
That cardboard recycler in Brazil and the metals recycler in Dubai could, for a modest fee raise their visibility within RecycleSoft so that a potential user of recycling services in, Sao Paulo for example could search ‘Cardboard Recycling’ and our customer would be presented.
The second opportunity is for refurbished or commodity sales. As ROMS (and therefore RecycleSoft) knows what has been refurbished, a Cisco switch for example, buyers of Cisco equipment could be matched to these vendors through a RecycleSoft marketplace. Further opportunities spring from this. Buyers could register with RecycleSoft (for a small fee) to search for product. RecycleSoft could provide a clearing service by taking payment. A ‘ratings’ service could provide sellers and buyers with feedback from past transactions. As RecycleSoft would have visibility of what was sold, by whom, to whom and for how much it could become the leading source of pricing intelligence.
Initially US Fortune 1000 organizations. Prior to RecycleSoft any attempt by any large Corporation to establish a ‘Carbon Footprint’ that is anything other than a best guess was simply not possible. Prior to RecycleSoft any attempt to produce an accurate reporting across all recyclables down to the Lb was simply not possible let alone in real-time. Imagine the enhanced ‘green’ credibility and the sheer marketing possibilities for, say, Pepsi over Coca-cola were they to introduce this worldwide (or even just in the US).
The cost/benefit is considerable. For use of the RecycleSoft Platform a cost of $20MM per year would almost be a rounding error for a Fortune 1000 member given the benefits. Use of the RecycleSoft client applications would also be charged although further analysis is required to arrive at an eventual pricing structure.
This has absolutely the potential to lead to a public offering within 5 years. It will however require a number of financing rounds. Deliverables for initial funding rounds are as follows:
- US Corporate Infrastructure – Facilities and Key Personnel
- Software Development, Support and Documentation
- Software Development Infrastructure (Version Control, Checkin/out, QA)
- Training facilities
- Multiple R3E locations
Longer Term Goals
RecycleSoft has the potential to have operations in nearly every country across the globe largely financed from revenues from a small number of initial clients. The potential from there is almost limitless. The more countries in which we have a presence the easier it is to gain further business from, for example smaller regional players and at less cost.
There is real potential for RecycleSoft to become the global standard for both environmental reporting and recycling operations in much the same way as SalesForce.com and Google Earth are dominant in their respective domains.
The author and principal shareholder had a career in software development over 25 years as a programmer initially rising to be contract Program Manager for 5-10,000 seat custom software development and pan European deployment for EU Fortune 500 organizations. Customers included Shell, Panasonic, Xerox and British Telecom (Cellnet). After the dot com bubble burst the Author relocated to Arizona with family and on a whim founded ScrapComputer.Com, an EWaste recycling company in 2001. Noting that there was no software for the nascent Ewaste recycling industry the author began writing what would eventually become ROMS. ScrapComputer.com was sold in 2012 with 7 locations across the US and a processing center in Malaysia. A non-compete agreement prevented re-entry into the industry for 3 years and it was during this time that the RecycleSoft platform was initially developed, ROMS was enhanced and the prototype Apps were produced. R3Ewaste was founded early 2016 and gained R2 certification later that year. R3E has a comprehensive Business Plan to have a facility in all Continental US States within 4 years. The first new facility opens in Austin on Sept 15th 2020.
Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, Threats
Many of the strengths have been previously outlined; first mover advantage, multiple barriers to entry and a unique product mix addressing an entirely new market to name a few. Through R3E it will be possible to quickly build infrastructure to support a higher level marketing and sales campaign to our target market. Each R3E location will be revenue positive within 120 days of opening through extensive use of SEO. Although an outside salesperson will be required at each R3E location this does not have to be someone capable of presenting to C level executives of a multinational. In most cases this role would be combined with Branch Manager. We do need to distinguish between R3E sales which are local and RecycleSoft sales which are (initially) national then extended to providing a global solution.
The challenges in some respects align with some of the strengths. For example, although there is an entirely untapped global market this will need to be developed. Almost all of our target market are attempting to establish their ‘green’ credentials but are unaware that RecycleSoft exists. This may be addressed through a marketing and sales campaign but this will not be cheap – salespersons experienced in presenting to C level executives in large multinational companies are expensive and the sales cycle can be many months. A critical mass of support infrastructure must also be in place prior to launch.
Although the software is developed and stable there are always areas to improve. Although a full rewrite is unnecessary it will certainly be necessary to set up a full software development team with tools for check-in and out of code, version control, QC, documentation, support etc.
Where to begin or perhaps the question should be where to end? Recyclables need to be shipped and with Recyclesoft having a comprehensive view of commodities and volumes worldwide there is an opportunity for freight companies, buyers, sellers and brokers to advertise. Having a view of all refurbished equipment provides an opportunity to create a virtual marketplace and/or payments clearing portal. 3rd party recycling companies may also become licensed users of ROMS and the various Apps for their day to day operations. Franchise opportunities may exist for individuals/companies wishing to set up R3E branches worldwide.
There is a remote possibility that a competing product is under development but this is highly unlikely. Certainly there are programs available but these are either specialized, for example specifically for ITAD processing or are architecturally challenged.
There are two threads for delivery of this proposal. The first thread relates to having a branch of R3Ewaste in every state in the continental US within 4 years. A separate business plan exists for this thread. The second relates to RecycleSoft.
A corporate HQ will be required housing the various standard business functionalities (Finance, HR, Legal etc) plus software development and support. This will also serve as R3Ewaste corporate head office. For security reasons the source code to all software will be hosted on servers within this facility. Production software will be hosted in the cloud. A project office will be established to support the R3Ewaste expansion. The Phoenix warehouse will become an operational training facility.
Year one will have the following deliverables:
- HQ opened and partially staffed
- All key positions filled
- 5 R3Ewaste facilities in key markets operational
- First production version of all software ready for release
- Marketing campaign ready for release
- Sales management team in place
- Initial RecycleSoft software support operational
- Full ROMS and App support operational
- Project office fully staffed
- Franchise development office partially staffed
- A total of 16 R3Ewaste facilities in key markets will be operational
- 1 R3Ewaste facility outside of the US
- HQ fully staffed
- Minimum of 1 US Fortune 1000 customer
- V2 of all software in production
- Full software support operations in place
- Fully staffed sales team in place
- Franchise sales office operational
- At least 1 franchised R3Ewaste location opened
Year three will have the following deliverables:
- A total of 32 R3Ewaste facilities in key markets will be
- 8 franchise locations opened
- 3 R3Ewaste facilities outside of the US
- Minimum of 3 US Fortune 500 customers
- 1 Global Fortune 500 customer
Now is a very good time to negotiate an office space lease. We also would encourage remote working where possible at least whilst Covid remains a factor. Through year 2 will require ultimately 30,000 sq feet of office space.
- Management – 14
- Accounting – 4
- IT – 4
- Facilities – 6
- Legal – 4
- Software Development/QA – 22
- Project Office – 12
- Sales – 8
- Sales Support – 4
- Franchise – 4
- HR – 4
- Compliance/R2 – 4
- Marketing/PR – 4
- Website/SEO – 1
- Senior admin – 3
- General admin – 12
- Security – 6
- Software support – 15
- Documentation – 4
- Hardware – 4
- Logistics/Travel – 5
- Insurance – 2
- Training – 6
Total around 160 employees. 30,000 Sq Ft HQ = < 200 sq ft per employee.
Est HQ employee costs through year 2 = $24MM
Est facilities rental through year 2 = $2.5MM + HQ
Equipment/Infrastructure/Fixed Assets through year 2 = $4MM
Everything else through year 2 = $7MM
Total investment through year 2 = $37.5MM + HQ cost
Any one of just the oil majors (Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron, Total, Conoco) would pay a substantial sum per year to comprehensively demonstrate their commitment to recycling. Over the last 5 years just the oil majors alone spent $14.5 billion dollars on PR to achieve precisely what RecycleSoft offers.
Every Global Fortune 1000 member has a senior sustainability officer either on the board of directors or directly reporting to the CEO. ALL would dearly wish for (and pay for) a platform that enabled them to report on all their recyclables, worldwide down to the pound in real-time.
This Executive Summary will be published on the RecycleSoft website. We invite potential investors to submit submissions of interest provided they meet the following criteria:Any potential investor (or group) must be capable of funding all investment rounds provided agreed milestones have been met at each stage.
A technology partner. Our database platform is currently SQL Server (T-SQL) but we are committed to supporting all major RDBMS platforms.
A US Fortune 100 member with the vision to see both the benefits of implementing RecycleSoft for their organisation and the potential for monetisation. (Hello Sundar, Larry, Elon, Jeff & Satya in no particular order).
A purely financial motive but with the skillset to provide investment process advice and the standing to provide a significant referral resource into our target market.
Our preferred investment group would be for a mix of one each of the above.