Over 20 years ago, we launched The Green Consumer Guide, which sold around a million copies, went into foreign language editions in around 20 countries, and helped consumers worldwide put pressure on business to clean up on the environmental front. Books, however, are old technology. So when I was on the Advisory Board of Physic Ventures for several years and first came across GoodGuide, my excitement was palpable – and I have since used the story in many public presentations to underscore how the global economy will move to radically different levels of transparency.
GoodGuide is an independent ‘B Corporation‘, a new type of company which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. And it has announced the first iPhone application that scans barcodes to provide impartial health, environment and social responsibility ratings of products and companies. The newest version of GoodGuide’s iPhone application, now available for free from Apple’s iTunes App Store, will make it easier and faster for consumers to find healthy and environmentally friendly products from socially responsible companies while standing in the aisle of a store. GoodGuide licensed Occipital’s state-of-the-art RedLaser barcode scanning technology for its new application.
GoodGuide’s new iPhone application can help consumers in the store with many common purchase decisions. For example, the application enables consumers to choose the healthier of two moisturizers, determine what’s in various all-purpose cleaners and learn whether organic product manufacturers have good social practices to go along with their healthy manufacturing processes. and it’s simple to do: simply scan a barcode in the supermarket aisle and immediately see detailed and independently researched ratings for health, environment and social responsibility for over 50,000 products and companies right on the phone.
In addition, by using the new version of GoodGuide’s iPhone application, consumers will be able to participate in picking the products to be rated next. GoodGuide will aggregate information about which products are scanned most frequently and use that information to prioritize the products that are rated by GoodGuide.
Dara O’Rourke, founder and CEO of GoodGuide, emphasized that the new iPhone application is another step in the initial stages of the company’s vision to make information about consumer products more transparent. “The iPhone application illustrates how we can provide consumers with critical product information when they need it the most – in the store,” he said. “The service will only get stronger over time as we add more and more product information based on our community’s input.”
The launch of GoodGuide’s new iPhone application follows GoodGuide’s closing in June of this year of $5.5 million in Series B financing. GoodGuide’s Series B financing was led by Physic Ventures, with the additional participation by New Island Capital and existing investors New Enterprise Associates and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. In connection with GoodGuide’s Series B financing, William Rosenzweig, Managing Director of Physic Ventures, has joined GoodGuide’s Board of Directors.
In the last year, GoodGuide has won numerous awards including being named the “Startup Most Likely to Make The World a Better Place” at the 2008 Crunchies, Top 100 Web Sites of 2009 by PC Magazine, and CNET’s Editor’s Choice for “Best Newcomer” in CNET 2009 Webware 100.
Sam adds: The future is bright, the future is Good. And watch this space for a review of GoodGuide user experience from Volans team members currently scampering around the London office scanning packets of cookies and, indeed, moisturinzing cream …