Stationery brand Paper On The Rocks joins forces with vested impact investors, to accelerate change in the paper industry. The Dutch company, that also won the SME Export Award in the Netherlands this year, is ready to scale up and reach a larger audience with their tree-free notebooks.
A healthy paper industry
Anne Pleun van Eijsden (30), founder of Paper On The Rocks, is excited about the investment by impact investors Pymwymic and an Italian angel investor. “It is my goal to move the paper industry towards more sustainable practices. By building a strong impact stationery brand and placing it on the market, worldwide, we can cause a positive change. To have found two parties who believe in that mission, is fantastic. We can now fully focus on making beautiful products, as well as big impact.”
Sustainable stationery in demand
“We have ambitious plans, amongst others the launch of new products,” shares Van Eijsden. “The past years we successfully launched the Rockbook, made from cradle to cradle stonepaper, on the Dutch market. Now we are ready to bring the product abroad. In some countries we see that there is an urgency to find an alternative to regular pulp paper notebooks. For example in countries where water is scarce, or where monocultures have severely damaged the ecosystem. Besides that, as a company we will focus on promoting reforestation efforts.”
All about the mission
To realize its mission, the company looked for dedicated impact investors who shared the same ideal – to make an impact. With 25 years of experience, Pymwymic (Put your money where your meaning is community) is one of Europe’s oldest organizations for impact investors. From the start in 1994, members of the Pymwymic community together invested over 50 million euros in 60 different companies. Another Dutch company in the Pymwymic portfolio is Fairphone – also a fellow B Corporation. “We are proud to support an ambitious entrepreneur such as Anne Pleun. Paper On The Rocks has the potential to become a strong commercial success ánd shake up the paper industry,” states Rogier Pieterse, Managing Director of Pymwymic.
Investing in female founders
After recent publications regarding the small amount of venture capital investments in start-ups with female founders, Paper On The Rocks and Pymwymic want to counter this trend. “I am very happy to be part of reversing the trend, and to show that investments in female founders do, and should, happen,” says Van Eijsden. “We also hope that Anne Pleun can be an inspiration for more female founders to build their impact business and find us for funding,” adds Pieterse.