Stationery startup Paper secures $50M funding for expansion
Stationery startup Papier has secured $50m (£37m) in funding to drive its US expansion, with CEO Taymoor Atighetchi telling Yahoo Finance UK that customers could soon see Papier products on shop shelves and next-day delivery made available.
The $50m fundraiser was led by Paris-based firm Singular and was accompanied by dmg ventures, Lansdowne Partners and Kathaka. Existing investors Felix Capital and Beringea also participated in the round.
The investment will drive Papier’s expansion in the US, a market that already accounts for over 30% of revenue and is on course to represent 40% this year.
Read more: London tech IPOs raise record £6.6bn in 2021
“The US is a key pillar of our strategy and the story there is quite simple: We have managed to get quite a lot of traction with fairly little investment with almost 40% of our sales coming from there and we have nobody on the ground, creating partnerships with local brands and local businesses, which is what we do in the UK,” Taymoor Atighetchi, CEO & founder of Papier, told Yahoo Finance UK.
Papier has opened its first US office, in SoHo, New York, this month, where it will build a local team with roles across brand, marketing and operations, taking the global team to over 100.
“The stationery market is worth $200bn globally and nearly half of that comes from the US, so even though we have had phenomenal success there, I think we are only scratching the surface of what is possible,” he added.
The funding round was more than two times oversubscribed, as investors wanted to tap into a company that has, on average, doubled in size every year since it launched in 2015. Papier’s total investment to date stands at $65m.
Nahu Ghebrechael, partner at Singular, will be joining the board to offer advice to the business’s next stage of growth as it bridges both UK and US territories.
She said: “Taymoor and the Papier team have completely reinvented stationery for today’s consumer. They’ve taken the traditional charm, sophistication, and personalized touch of the offline paper world, and merged it with a seamless, tech-driven consumer experience and production process. I’ve been so impressed with the team’s vision, ambition, and consumer-first values.”
Read more: Startups: Less than one in 10 Brits keen on starting a business
The company is currently fully direct-to-consumer, working with print manufacturers in the UK and the US that print, pack, and fulfill the orders.
“About 75 to 80% of the stationery is still being bought in stores. Our differentiation is that we are digitally native,” Atighetchi said.
However, even as the pandemic accelerated online sales and this digital positioning allows Papier to offer personalization “to every customer on every product”, the company is working on its own store presence in London and New York.
“We need to work for the customer, wherever they are, and available whenever they need. So yes, we think there is going to be a place of Papier in the real world. Plans are underway and I think we will see some of that come through as early as this year,” Atighetchi said.
While that move to the stores does not happen, Papier wants to improve delivery times for those ordering online.
“One of the things we will be releasing later this year is the ability to order products for next day delivery across the UK and then rolling that out in the US.”
Millennials are Papier’s biggest customer demographic accounting for 53% of active customers but Gen Z customers are Papier’s fastest-growing audience.
Watch: What are SPACS?