Retail

HowGood Rates Product Sustainability, Sees $4.2M Series A

A number of major retail studies have shown that millennial consumers value the sustainability of brands and products when making purchases.

New York-based consumer data company HowGood provides these increasingly sustainability-minded consumers with ratings and additional information on grocery products — everything from food, to household products and personal care items assessing. In short, HowGood literally answers the question, “How good is blank [insert product, brand, or store location here]?” for consumers who want to know more before buying.

The company reportedly assesses products for their environmental, health and trade impacts; consumers access these ratings via HowGood’s website or mobile app. Some stores have even started carrying HowGood ratings’ signage, and for some products, consumers can scan the item’s barcode to access ratings on mobile.

Consumers aren’t the only ones taking notice. HowGood recently announced that it had closed a $4.2 million dollar Series A venture funding led by FirstMark Capital with additional participation from Contour Ventures, Humanity United and Serious Change LP, among others. The most recent round brings the startup’s total funding to $6.2 in two rounds, including a seed round back in 2014.

Rick Heitzmann, founder and managing director of FirstMark Capital, was quoted by TechCrunch as saying, “Consumers have a blindness to different issues. Au naturel, healthy, fat-free … They see all these confusing labels and say, ‘Screw it, I’m just buying the cheapest thing.’ But if you say, ‘Hey, this is the best thing for you to buy based on qualities you care about,’ then they will buy it and be happier with what they bought.”

HowGood reportedly plans to use the Series A funds in a number of different ways. The startup looks to expand to a wider range of products including cosmetics and grooming, said TechCrunch. Additionally, HowGood reportedly looks to put some of the cash toward technical research and development with the goal of expanding the channels on which users can access HowGood’s ratings data.

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