Building sustainable brands, one package at a time: our investment in noissue
Felix leads Series A round of $10m to accelerate noissue’s mission to becoming the №1 platform for sustainable packaging
At Felix, our goal is to back brands, platforms and enablers that transform the customer journey, while moving the world forward. We back the Creative Class, as well as tools and platforms that empower the Creative Class to unleash their creativity, while having a positive impact in the world.
Over the past years, we’ve seen an explosion of ecommerce growth, catalysed by the pandemic but also a thriving “Creator Economy”, resulting in a transformation of the consumer landscape, with new behaviours, new brands, new businesses going direct to consumers. At the same time, we observed a seismic awakening of consumers, preferring and demanding brands to produce and operate responsibly. At the intersection of this all, we found noissue, a global packaging platform that provides sustainable, customisable packaging materials at a small MOQ, to brands, retailers and creators of all sizes.
The acceleration of ecommerce and the Creator Economy
Today, more than 50 million people in the world consider themselves creators. The flourishing Creator Economy gives rise to a proliferation of media content across platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, but also the creation of brands at an unprecedented pace. It took Shopify 15 years to reach $200 billion in cumulative GMV, but it only took the platform the past 16 months to double in scale to $400 billion in GMV. At the end of 2020, Shopify reported 1.75m merchants on their platform, an almost 5x increase from 2016. This accelerated growth in commerce was underpinned by many trends — the creator economy as a core driver, but also the broad digitisation of product, lifestyle and services, the availability of the Internet and connectivity, as well as the democratisation of payments, just to name a few.
The preference for sustainability
Our lives have become ever so convenient, with ecommerce contributing to over 20% of retail sales in many countries. At the same time, we observe the consumers’ burning desire for a sustainable lifestyle, as outlined in our post on our investment in everdrop. With the packaging industry historically being a main contributor to plastic waste, in order to participate in fixing the issue, 70% of consumers have expressed that they are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. At Felix, we are strong believers in tackling this global crisis and eager practitioners ourselves, both personally and also with the way we invest our funds.
With the cultural shift towards sustainability and the rise of ecommerce, when we met noissue, we instantly understood the large, global opportunity that the team is going after. We believe a platform like noissue will be pivotal in helping brands and creators, no matter the size, take a first step towards a sustainable offering.
Packaging as a brand real estate
Noissue understands the importance of branding and the fact that packaging is an opportunity for brands to make the best “first IRL impression” to their customers. Therefore, noissue offers an easy-to-use online design tool, allowing brands and creators to fully express their creativity by customising everything to do with how their brands are rendered on the packaging. In the future, noissue will continue to invest in ways that could help digital brands come to life, recognising packaging as a key piece of brand real estate.
A platform business model, powered by a highly engaged community
We first spotted noissue on Instagram, where the platform has created a remarkably engaged community for a B2B business! Noissue built a community of over 430k followers on IG, and over 300k on Tiktok, not your typical B2B brand and certainly not your typical packaging provider. Noissue harnesses a great degree of customer love, with customers oftentimes taking high quality photos and proudly asking noissue to showcase their creation across the noissue channels.
Noissue runs their own version of a sustainable brand community, called Eco-Alliance, where members pledge to contribute to a climate-action project of their choice, in exchange for access to the community and to noissue Rewards and promotions. Today, noissue has a global customer base of over 80k retailers, hospitality brands, and makers, across North America, Europe, and APAC. Customers are invited to vote for the products they wish to see on the platform, which the noissue team will then prioritise and launch through close collaboration with their global supply base. Noissue started with just tissue paper, and now serves 18 product categories, growing by the month.
A team on a mission to build a global platform
At Felix, we are impressed by founders who show a rare combination of humility and ambition. When we first met Josh and Augie, we certainly observed a high degree of dedication, ambition, thoughtfulness, and customer-centric attitude.
Josh and Augie have been long-term friends, and started noissue out of the desire to create a lasting, positive impact in the world. Having previously built consumer brands themselves, and struggled to find the right sustainable packaging for these, they are well versed in supply chain and on-demand manufacturing. They also understand how difficult it is to create an endearing brand. Noissue was born to empower more brands and creators around the world to take their first step towards sustainability, with absolutely no compromise on creative expressions.
Welcome to the Felix family, noissue!
At Felix, we are constantly on the search for brands and platforms that transform the customer journey by capturing cultural shifts in our society. These companies often share the design-centric, community-led DNA, harnessing an overwhelming amount of customer love. Noissue encapsulates many of these qualities, and has the ambition to make a dent in the large and growing packaging industry. Welcome home, noissue!