Madison-based startup Goods Unite Us has raised a $500,000 seed round from investors, the company announced today.
[caption id="attachment_372041" align="alignright" width="486"] Abigail Wuest, Amy Miller and Brian Potts. (PHOTO: Amandalynn Jones Photography)[/caption]
The platform, which provides consumers with information about the political leanings of more than 4,000 brands and companies, has more than 200,000 monthly active users. Goods Unite Us tracks public data on the contributions of companies and their top leaders to politicians and PACs.
The company was co-founded in 2017 by chief executive officer Abigail Wuest, chief operating officer Amy Miller and Brian Potts. It has two additional employees.
“At GUU, our mission is transparency and protecting the democratic process. We do not want to further polarize society,” Wuest said. “And while the data we make available may spark some emotion, we think that ultimately greater transparency around money in politics will lead to a stronger democracy and citizens feeling more effective in the political process. Ultimately, this should help reduce polarization.”
The lead investors in the seed round were MaSa Partners, Mark Bakken and Humble Rogue Ventures, and some accredited angel investors also chipped in.
“As lead investors in Goods Unite Us’ recent series seed round, MaSa Partners believes this space will become increasingly relevant to consumer decision-making across the country,” said Max Duckworth of MaSa Partners. “We are excited by Goods’ team, strategy and technology platform, and have been highly impressed by the rapid progress, user adoption and value creation to date.”
With the new funding, Goods Unite Us plans to enhance its app and website offerings and attract more users. Among its future goals is to create company subscriptions that allow for corporate clients to control their profiles on the site.
“By claiming their page, we upload their logo to their company page, and then they have space to talk about their politics or talk about other social impact moves they’re making as a company,” Miller said.
Wuest and Potts created Goods Unite Us to help empower consumers, Miller said. Originally, it was a progressive shopping site.
“My business partners had the idea after (President Donald) Trump was elected,” Miller said. “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a place we could shop and know that the money we’re spending is not inadvertently supporting the other party?”
The company previously raised a friends and family round, but this is its first funding from outside investors, Miller said. The plan is to raise another investor round in March, as they ramp up the platform ahead of the 2020 election.