Blog Post

Former Imperium CEO Martin Tobias Goes Kashless

We’ve been wondering what the former CEO of biodiesel company Imperium Renewables, Martin Tobias, was going to do next. When we interviewed the serial entrepreneur and angel investor back in May at the Future In Review Conference he said he was mulling over his options — including the intersection of Internet and green — and said he still had another company in him. Well, we caught up with Tobias this morning, and he confirmed that he has founded and is running re-commerce company (noted here and here, and in this job posting).

Tobias won’t say much about the company, and the site is in private alpha right now. But Kashless is a return to the software/Internet side of green, and Tobias previously founded and ran streaming-media company Loud Eye. And compared to running Imperium, which raised hundreds of millions and was at one time planning an IPO, Kashless sounds like a much less capital-intensive way back into the entrepreneurial world.

On the job listing sites Kashless is described as a:

ReCommerce community and platform enabling person to person product reuse, sharing, lending, trade and other “cashless” transactions. By increasing reuse, will divert a significant amount of waste from the landfill and extend the useful life of many products. The company is fully funded . . .

Tobias writes on his blog about a formative experience of cleaning out his garage and trying to sell old, but still good, stuff that lead to forming Kashless:

In the end I got rid of everything but it was WAY TOO HARD and took way too much time/energy/effort. Heck, I was trying to give something away for free!

As Tobias points out in his blog post, there are a variety of web sites out there that help sell and swap used goods online. Craiglist, Freecycle, less well known sites like SwapThing and several Facebook applications come to mind. But it does still take a large amount of time and effort to get your stuff swapped or sold — perhaps Tobias has a better way.

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