BIC has acquired 100% of Rocketbook, the Boston-based maker of cloud-connected, smart and reusable notebooks and accessories, in a $40 million deal designed to merge each company’s technology and expertise to “expand the global accessibility of digital writing.”
“This acquisition solves a major challenge for many stationery consumers – providing a way to write that can be easily stored and shared in a quick, efficient and environmentally conscious manner,” said Gonzalve Bich, CEO of Shelton-based BIC. “We have admired Rocketbook’s path to success and watched as they have reimaged the everyday notebook.”
Rocketbook was founded in 2014 by Joe Lemay and Jake Epstein.
“Six years ago, Jake and I were sitting in a pub in Boston dreaming about how to make the idea of a reusable notebook a reality,” said Rocketbook CEO Lemay. “We faced huge obstacles and countless skeptics early on because we were working to reinvent a centuries-old industry.
“Through a mix of crowdfunding and some disruptive breakthroughs with material and digital technologies, Rocketbook notebooks have gone on to become top-selling notebooks on Amazon and around the world,” he said. “To come full circle from that moment when we were drafting plans on cocktail napkins to being acquired by BIC, the most innovative brand in this industry, is a dream come true.”
“With BIC’s support, we can expand our list of retail partners, distribution facilities and global reach,” Epstein said. “Together, we’re going to do for notebooks what Tesla did for cars.”
Rocketbook has been a rapidly growing company, expanding its line to more than 10 products. Those include the Core and Fusion notebooks, which feature Rocketbook’s patented reusable technology. The notebooks’ synthetic paper allows the user to write smoothly with a pen, marker and then wipe the page clean with a damp cloth, enabling them to use the notebook again and again.
Powered by the Rocketbook app, users can send and access their scanned pages in a variety of cloud services, such as Google Drive, DropBox and iCloud. Sold online for less than $40, the Rocketbook Core notebook ranks first in reusable notebooks on Amazon.
Rocketbook reported $32 million net sales in fiscal year 2020, up 35% year over year.
The acquisition enhances BIC’s positions in the stationery category by entering a new growth segment. The digital writing market is expected to reach approximately $4.8 billion in value by 2025, according to investment bank NFluence Partners, which along with Finn Dixon & Herling LLP advised BIC in the transaction.