CurbWaste Raises $6M to Help Waste Haulers Streamline Operations

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

CurbWaste Raises $6M to Help Waste Haulers Streamline Operations

CurbWaste, a new software platform from Curbside Technologies that helps trash haulers manage their routes and operations, raised $6 million to continue developing its technology and acquire new customers.

Curbside Technologies is a software development company founded by CEO Michael Marmo in 2020. Marmo told dot.LA he comes from a family of waste haulers. He said that though he originally began his career in entertainment and advertising (with stints at Yelp and as a media buyer at ad agency Mindshare), he went to work at his family’s transfer station and the job stuck.

Marmo said he began experimenting with software to streamline his family’s business, using what would eventually become CurbWaste’s platform to “basically solve the things I hated doing” in waste management.

Originally based in New York City, Marmo said the company is “bicoastal” with roughly 50% of its staff in New York and 50% in Los Angeles. Marmo divides his time between the east coast and Los Angeles, where the bulk of CurbWaste’s investors are based – including Manhattan Beach’s B Capital Group, which co-led the seed round with Santa Monica-based Mucker Capital.

B Capital invested in CurbWaste as part of its early-stage Ascent Fund 2. CurbWaste has raised $7.2 million since its launch two years ago following this round, Marmo said.

Headshot of \u200bCurbWaste founder and CEO Michael Marmo

CurbWaste founder and CEO Michael Marmo

Courtesy of Curbside Technologies

“We love to see [the] acceleration of tech adoption in these online industries that will create massive software opportunities over the next decade,” B Capital General Partner Gabe Greenbaum told dot.LA. “Mike's this fourth-generation waste management operator with deep industry relationships, and we love backing insiders that have unfair insights and the problems that they're solving, which really helps drive empathy and trust with customers.”

To fuel its growth plans, CurbWaste hired ServiceTitan’s former head of international strategy and operations Vach Hovsepyan to serve as chief operating officer. Marmo said Hovsepyan joined the company earlier this month.

Marmo told dot.LA CurbWaste is in the process of closing a deal with its first Los Angeles client “in the near future.” He wouldn’t disclose the name of the company but said he expected the deal to be closed by this fall.

Los Angeles operates on a commercial franchise model for garbage removal, where private companies handle waste disposal through contracts with various cities. This can lead to disparate results for property owners, but it’s a great deal for Marmo. It means each individual franchise owner is a potential new buyer of CurbWaste’s software.

B Capital’s Gabe Greenbaum told dot.LA he expects more mom-and-pop waste removal companies will begin to embrace B2B software like CurbWaste’s platform as younger professionals take over businesses, similar to Marmo’s trajectory.

“What you're seeing is that there's a massive transformation in this particular industry to start to buy software,” Greenbaum said. “There's over 15,000 small and medium and mid-market waste management companies in the U.S. that are still running their business on internet 1.0 tech or paper and pad,” he added, noting B Capital discovered this during diligence research before investing in CurbWaste.

Marmo said there are pros and cons to the franchise model of removing trash. One hurdle is that it leaves logistics management up to the individual owners. Challenges include differences in routes, traffic and the regulations detailing how each type of waste has to be disposed of in certain areas, plus ever-evolving environmental guidelines.

Headshot of B Capital Group general partner Gabe Greenbaum

B Capital Group general partner Gabe Greenbaum

Courtesy of B Capital Group

“The industry as a whole is way more complex than I think most people understand,” Marmo told dot.LA. “There's a lot of moving parts. Logistically, it's very complex. It's very labor intensive [and] capital intensive,” Marmo said, adding that Americans generate about 292 million tons of trash every year, and that number is only expected to grow.

“What the software is able to do is compartmentalize all the different moving parts, and then allow you to analyze the business and come up with optimal solutions to bring efficiency to what you're doing,” Marmo added. “Data basically breeds transparency.”

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Derek Jeter’s Arena Club Knocked a $10M Funding Round Right Out of the Park

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

sports trading cards
Arena Club /Andria Moore

Sports trading card platform Arena Club has raised $10 million in Series A funding.

Co-founded by CEO Brian Lee and Hall of Fame Yankees player Derek Jeter, Arena Club launched its digital showroom in September. Through the platform, sports fans can buy, sell, trade and display their card collections. Using computer vision and machine learning, Arena Club allows fans to grade and authenticate their cards, which can be stored in the company’s vault or delivered in protective “slabs.” Arena Club intends to use the new cash to expand these functions and scale its operations.

The new funding brings Arena Club’s total amount raised to $20 million. M13,, Lightspeed Ventures, Elysian Park Ventures and BAM Ventures contributed to the round.

“Our team is thankful for the group of investors—led by M13, who see the bright future of the trading card hobby and our platform,” Lee said in a statement. “I have long admired M13 and the value they bring to early-stage startups.”

M13’s co-founder Courtney Reum, who formed the early-stage consumer technology venture firm in 2016 alongside his brother Carter Reum, will join Arena Club’s board. Reum has been eyeing the trading card space since 2020 when he began investing in what was once just a childhood hobby.

The sports trading card market surged in 2020 as fans turned to the hobby after the pandemic brought live events to a standstill. Since then, prices have come down, though demand remains high. And investors are still betting on trading card companies, with companies like Collectors bringing in $100 million earlier this year. Fanatics, which sells athletic collectibles and trading cards, reached a $31 billion valuation after raising $700 million earlier this week. On the blockchain, Tom Brady’s NFT company Autograph lets athletes sell digital collectibles directly to fans.

As for Arena Club, the company is looking to cement itself as a digital card show.

“Providing users with a digital card show allows us to use our first-class technology to give collectors from all over the world the luxury of being able to get the full trading card show experience at their fingertips,” Jeter said in a statement.

Is Airbnb’s New Push To Expand Short-Term Rentals Enough for Hosts To Combat LA’s City Policy?

Amrita Khalid
Amrita Khalid is a tech journalist based in Los Angeles, and has written for Quartz, The Daily Dot, Engadget, Inc. Magazine and number of other publications. She got her start in Washington, D.C., covering Congress for CQ-Roll Call. You can send tips or pitches to or reach out to her on Twitter at @askhalid.
LA house

L.A.’s lax enforcement of Airbnbs has led to an surge of illegal short-term rentals — even four years after the city passed a regulation to crack down on such practices. But what if hosts lived in a building that welcomed Airbnb guests and short-term rentals?

That’s the idea behind Airbnb’s new push to expand short-term rental offerings. The company is partnering with a number of corporate landlords that agreed to offer “Airbnb-friendly” apartment buildings, reported The Wall Street Journal last week. According to the report, the new service will feature more than 175 buildings managed by Equity Residential, Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC and 10 other companies that have agreed to clear more than 175 properties nationwide for short-term rentals.

But prospective hosts in Los Angeles who decide to rent apartments from Airbnb’s list of more than a dozen “friendly” buildings in the city likely won’t earn enough to break even due to a combination of high rents, taxes and city restrictions on short-term rentals. Rents on one-bedroom apartments in most of the partnered buildings listed soared well over $3,000 a month. Only a few studios were available under the $2,000 price range. If a host were to rent a one bedroom apartment with a monthly rent of $2,635 (which amounts to $31,656 annually), they would have to charge well over the $194 average price per night for Los Angeles (which amounts to $23,280 per year) according to analytics platform AllTheRooms.

Either way, residents who rent one of these Airbnb friendly apartments still have to apply for a permit through the City of Los Angeles in order to host on Airbnb.

“[..Airbnb-friendly buildings] seems like a good initiative. However, from a quick look, it seems that given the rent, Airbnb revenue wouldn’t be enough to cover all expenses if the host follows the city’s policy,” says Davide Proserpio, assistant professor of marketing at the USC Marshall School of Business.

In addition, since L.A.’s 120-day cap on short-term rentals still applies to the buildings on Airbnb’s listing platform, that greatly limits the number of longer-term guests a resident can host. Not to mention, some of the buildings that Airbnb lists have even shorter limits – The Milano Lofts in DTLA for example only allows residents to host 90 nights a year.

Airbnb’s calculations of host earnings may be greatly misleading as well, given that the estimate doesn’t include host expenses, taxes, cleaning fees or individual building restrictions. For example, Airbnb estimates that a resident of a $3,699 one bedroom apartment at the Vinz in Hollywood that hosts 7 nights a month can expect $1,108 a month in revenue if they host year-round. But the Vinz only allows hosts to rent 90 days a year, which greatly limits the potential for subletters and a consistent income stream.

Keep in mind too that since the apartment will have to serve as the host’s “primary residence”, hosts will have to live there six months out of the year. All of which is to say, it’s unclear how renting an apartment in an “Airbnb-friendly” building makes hosting easier — especially in a city where illegal short-term rentals already seem to be the norm.

The Streamy Awards Prove that Online Creators and Traditional Media Are Still Disconnected

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is dot.LA's 2022/23 Editorial Fellow. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

tiktok influencers around a trophy ​
Andria Moore /Charli D'Amelio/Addison Rae/JiDion

Every year, the Streamy Awards, which is considered the top award show within the creator economy, reveals which creators are capturing the largest audiences. This past Sunday, the event, held at The Beverly Hilton, highlighted some of the biggest names in the influencer game, chief among them Mr. Beast and Charli D’Amelio. It had all the trappings of a traditional award show—extravagant gowns, quippy acceptance speeches and musical interludes. But, as TikTok creator Adam Rose told The Washington Post, the Streamys still lacks the legitimacy of traditional award shows.

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