- The biggest trends in consumer goods are “natural” and “eco-friendly.”
- There’s a product that you use every day of your life that fits with these trends and is overdue for innovation.
- There’s one startup that has a solution that caught the attention of Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, and loads of other big-name investors and celebs.
- Find out what the network effect is and why it’s so important for startups, in my opinion.
When you don’t know where to look, you miss out on opportunities.
If I asked what product is next up for disruption, how many of you would answer “single-use paper products”?
In reality, that’s a great answer, and it’s one that’s backed by a $3 million seed round and about a dozen well-known investors.
The startup I’d like to show you is called Cloud Paper.
Instead of chopping down trees to make toilet paper, Cloud Paper uses fast-growing and sustainable bamboo.
The TP is ultra-soft and saves acres of trees from deforestation.
We’ve been watching the consumer goods market closely…
As simple as Cloud Paper sounds, it’s making headlines and growing rapidly.
And in my latest issue of Angel Insights, I break down this startup, explore the consumer goods market, and talk about finding opportunities in the most unlikely places.
Maybe you follow FinTech, electric vehicles, or cybersecurity—all great choices.
But I bet very few of you said consumer products. And I bet almost no one said toilet paper.
Toilet paper is something you use every day of your life, sure. But is there room for disruption there?
The global toilet paper market is expected to hit almost $49 billion by 2026. And while almost all other consumer goods segments have seen some kind of eco-innovation, toilet paper is still the same old product.
Today I want to talk about a startup that’s changing all that and disrupting toilet paper.
The company is Cloud Paper and it has attracted loads of celebrity investors and earned millions in seed funding.
Traditional toilet paper is made of wood pulp and contributes to deforestation.
Paper towels and toilet paper alone account for 20% of global deforestation. This is equivalent to 40,000 trees cut down each day. That’s an acre every second.
The current system for creating single-use paper products is unsustainable.
Luckily, Could Paper is going to change the system.
Cloud Paper makes super-soft bamboo-based toilet paper.
Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. It grows up to three feet per day.
Once planted, it’s ready for harvest in just three years. Best of all, it doesn’t need to be replanted once cut, as it just keeps growing from the stump.
All of Cloud Paper’s bamboo is grown in family-operated farms in Asia. The company works with sustainability-focused manufacturing partners to keep production clean.
The TP rolls are made without chlorine and are free of BPA and all added scents, dyes, and pesticides. And Cloud Paper uses only recycled and 100% plastic-free packaging made locally.
Making a Difference
So far, by attracting customers to switch from tree-based to bamboo-based paper as well as through its carbon offsetting programs, Cloud Paper has prevented one million pounds of carbon from going into the environment.
And because the paper and packaging are plastic-free, Cloud Paper has saved around one ton of plastic packaging.
This product doesn’t just tackle deforestation, bamboo toilet paper produces at least 30% less greenhouse gas emissions than tree-based toilet paper.
From the ground up, Cloud Paper is built for sustainability—and investors love that.
Cloud Paper Attracting Big-Name Celebs and Investors
Angels, firms, and celebrities have all come on board with this idea.
Celeb investors include Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, NFL star Russell Wilson, and Robert Downey Jr. through his organization the FootPrint Coalition.
Mark Cuban, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and VC firms Greycroft and Muse Capital have also joined in.
This is a young but fast-moving company. It was just founded last year but already has a big $3 million seed round under its belt.
Trends Pushing the Product Forward
TP had a strange year.
Fears of shortages became self-fulfilling as people rushed to stockpile the stuff and it actually became hard to come by.
This frenzied buying helped Cloud Paper greatly. Orders spiked up around 800%, according to co-founder Ryan Fritsch.
With its subscription model, many of the panic-buyers stuck around once things cooled down. This created a nice early surge for the company.
Now that things have stabilized a bit, we can see some very interesting things coming out of the consumer goods markets that show a bright future for Cloud Paper.
As more and more purchases occur online and deliveries and subscription models take over, direct-to-consumer brands that offer something unique have so much room to grow.
In this space, sustainable products, in particular, are growing fast.
And Cloud Paper is benefitting from all of this.
The timing is just right for big brands like Procter & Gamble or Kimberly-Clark to acquire a startup like Cloud Paper.
If you take a market leader like P&G and look at their big moves over the last few years, you see acquisition after acquisition of health- and environmentally-oriented brands.
Natural shaving products, organic hygiene products, natural skincare—all of these have been scooped up by P&G and other big players like it.
As surprising as it may seem, I think natural and eco-friendly tags will start to spread into nearly every type of consumer good, toilet paper included.
You wouldn’t expect green toilet paper to be the next big thing, but Cloud Paper is making it look like it will be.
Take The Next Step
My angel investing group, The Boardroom, recently invested in a CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) startup with a line of natural, effective, alcohol-based deodorant.
They’ve tripled sales for 3 straight years and are projecting to bring in $3M+ in sales in 2021.
Their 86% profit margin gives them tons of room to scale and they’re about to fire up a massive viral marketing push.
I’ve included this startup, along with 2 more of The Boardroom’s hottest startups in my Holiday Blitz 3-for-1 offer.