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MOYU's Journey from Startup to Scale-Up

Roel and Paul asked me to join MOYU with one goal: to design a team that grows MOYU internationally.

Follow my journey as I document how I help MOYU balance growth ambitions with the need for operational efficiency and financial stability. It’s bound to be a journey filled with all types of obstacles and complexities, from Brand Marketing to Product Innovation to Sales.

You know how it goes. We have a strategy on paper and we'll test different tactics until we find our sweet spot to grow our sales and, more importantly, the right team structure to sustainably scale the business. I hope the trial-and-error moments I write about throughout this coming year give you ideas you can apply to your own ventures.

Erasable stone paper notebooks to transform the paper industry

MOYU is one of those companies built from a desire to do good down to its core. Roel started the company because he realized people were concerned about the negative environmental impact of the airline, meat, and oil industries. However, no one seemed to stop and take a second look at the paper industry.

I didn’t know, but it turns out that the paper industry is responsible for 17% of all deforestation. It’s the third most polluting industry in the world, even worse than the airline industry. Surprisingly, paper demand is on the rise in the digital age. That means the paper industry keeps producing paper like there is no tomorrow, severely increasing CO2 emissions, infertile soil, and shrinking biodiversity on our planet.

MOYU’s dream is to build a circular paper industry that uses stone waste as the new raw material for recyclable paper. To achieve this, they are creating stone paper notebooks as a tool to hack away at single-use paper and reforest the planet.

MOYU has successfully gotten erasable stone paper notebooks to market. They have grown sales year after year to reach €1.6 Million in 2023. That roughly translates to 220.000 erasable notebooks sold that could replace more than 3.300.000 single-use paper notebooks in the coming years. It’s a little bit too early for me to do the calculation, but I’m sure that translates to a lot of CO2 trees saved.

On the other side of the coin is the operations. I imagine it took a gigantic team effort to hit those sales numbers, and like most startups, the speed came at the expense of efficiency. That always hits hard at the bottom line of the business. And it truly starts to hurt when you want to scale the business.

Team improvement opportunities

The MOYU team has done many good things in the last three years. However, there are also many other things that, had they changed them a bit sooner, would have improved the bottom line and put the company in a better position for growth.

In 2024, I’m going to work with the team on finding the quick wins to improve the business when it comes to:

  • Marketing strategy & tactics
  • Sales funnel efficiency
  • Team culture
  • Product innovation
  • Business performance tracking

MOYU has an awesome product and team eager to show the world that it's possible to stand up against paper waste & deforestation.

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Do you already have questions or challenges you would like me to address? Send me your business challenges anytime you want.

About the Author

Ángel Figueroa

Aerospace Engineer turned Entrepreneur, I mix sports & game smarts to design high-performing innovation teams.

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