What happened

Shares of Rubicon Technologies (RBT -1.36%) rose 6% Monday after it delivered its first earnings report as a publicly traded company, posting solid revenue growth for the second quarter.

So what

Rubicon, which went public on Aug. 16 via a SPAC merger, provides a digital marketplace for waste and recycling, serving a wide range of businesses and governments. Its leaders have asserted that the company is doing for trash pickup what Uber did for transportation and Airbnb did for lodging. 

On Monday morning, it reported that its Q2 revenue increased by about 20% year over year to $165 million, driven by growth with existing and new customers. Its gross profit was minimal at $5.5 million, indicating that nearly all of its revenue went to pay the third-party haulers it needs to run the business. Rubicon reported a gross profit adjusted for platform costs, depreciation, and amortization of $12.7 million.

The company did not provide a full income statement and had not yet filed its 10-Q, so its bottom-line loss in the quarter was still unknown, but given the slim gross profit, it likely had at least a modest net loss. In 2021, the company posted an operating loss of $72.6 million on $583.1 million in revenue.

Rubicon raised nearly $200 million in the SPAC merger, which should help fund its growth, and it also said it entered into a strategic data and technology partnership with Palantir during Q2.

"Becoming a public company was a tremendous accomplishment and strengthens Rubicon's market position as we accelerate growth, bring more digitization to the waste and recycling industry, and continue our mission to end waste," said CEO Nate Morris in the earnings press release.

Now what

Given that Rubicon has not released complete financial statements for the quarter yet, it's hard to make a clear assessment of the company. A digital approach to waste management sounds promising, and Rubicon's mission to end waste is admirable, but with its single-digit gross margins, the business seems to have a long way to go in order to become profitable. We should learn more once the 10-Q report comes out.