Two Boise women hope to make it easier for people shopping online to buy from businesses that align with their values – whatever they may be.
Cara Oppenheimer and Cary Telander Fortin started Goodbuy earlier this year, and landed an investment round led by Boise-based venture capital firm StageDotO.
Later this year, Goodbuy hopes to launch a technology that will allow shoppers to put their money into businesses they line up with: local, Black-owned, American-made, family-owned, LGBTQI+-owned, and more.
“The whole focus of Goodbuy is to make shopping feel good by making conscious shopping easy,” Oppenheimer said. “For us, it was about all the guilt that surrounds shopping. A tool needs to be there to make it easy for you.”
Mike Self with StageDotO said his firm made the investment based on the strength of the idea – which “democratizes” the shopping process.
“The mission of the business is to make shopping feel good and by making conscious shopping really easy,” Self said. “Seventy percent of all US online spending goes into 15 mega-retailers. So they’re setting out to solve that problem.”
The funding round was in the seven-figure range, according to Oppenheimer and Telander Fortin, but the parties declined to provide more specific details.
While Goodbuy isn’t detailing their idea just yet, they hope to launch this fall. Oppenheimer said she was ready to leave her career working for ad agencies for something new, and was toying with different entrepreneurial concepts.
She said she messaged her idea to Telander Fortin, “she was like, it’s… brilliant and we need to put pad to paper and put in time on evenings and weekends.”
The pair started this spring and pitched investors this summer, quickly closing the funding round with StageDotO and others.
“We had resounding yes from everyone we pitched and we knew we had something special,” Oppenheimer said.
“We are two working moms with kids. We have the onus on us for (buying goods) for our kids,” Telander Fortin said. “We have a lot of things we need but not a lot of time. To expect individuals to go against cookies and SEO and search to match their values — we are hoping to make it as easy as possible for people to buy what they want and support who they want to support.”
Oppenheimer used an example.
“I just bought a Hydroflask, and I bought them online from Amazon quickly because I needed them for school. They’re cute and they work.”
But after she purchased them, she noticed a display of the same bottles in a store window.
“I made the connection that there are thousands of businesses that carry the same products you are looking for but you can’t see them,” she said. “Fifty percent of the US e-commerce spend went to Amazon last year. When Black Lives Matter happened (last year), we started to realize this intersection of “oh wow, we don’t have to just donate – we can support the businesses and owners.”
Long-term, they say they hope to even the playing field “just a little bit.”