On Tuesday, 22, Cloud Paper, a startup in Seattle, reinforced the thesis that sustainability principles gain more weight and relevance in investment decisions, under the concept of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance).
Founded in 2019 by Ryan Fritsch and Austin Watkins, former Uber employees, and Tori Kiss, the company manufactures bamboo-based toilet paper with the aim of reducing damage to the environment. Yesterday, it announced the raising of US$3 million, in a round led by the Greycroft fund.
This is the second contribution received by the startup, which had already raised US $ 1.4 million in another round, held in April 2020. In this fundraising event, the list of celebrities and investors who follow Greycrot to catch up with the new injection of resources.
The list includes names such as: Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber; actors like Ashton Kutcher, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow; the billionaire Mark Cuban; Salesforce founder and CEO, Marc Benioff; Guy Oseary, manager of artists like U2 and Madonna; Marc Merrill, co-founder and CEO of Riot Games; and Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, NFL team, the football league.
Bamboo-based toilet paper is Cloud Paper’s first and only product to date. The item meets the company’s purpose, officially launched in May 2019, to combat deforestation.
The company explains that the choice of bamboo as a raw material follows some premises. Among them are the fact that it is the fastest growing plant in the world; reach harvest maturity in three years; and generate at least 30% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to the production of “common” toilet paper.
“We wanted Cloud Paper to be a force for good in the world,” said Watkins. “We wanted to find something similar to taxis and trucking in terms of the size of the market and something that could have a really big impact on the community and the environment from day one.”
The company reached the market with the offer focused on the institutional segment and conquered, in its customer base, companies like WeWork. Recently, it also launched a subscription model, aimed at consumers, with free delivery, under the value of US $ 28 for 24 rolls of the product. The packaging is 100% recyclable, compostable and free of plastic.
“We have been investing in several companies over the last five to 10 years that have been in this vein,” said Greycroft venture partner Alison Lange Engel. What compelled the firm to back Fritsch and Watkins was the background in logistics and consumer products and the business-to-business focus that the two entrepreneurs initially went to market with, Engel said.