A business division of Underwriters Laboratories has acquired GoodGuide, a Valley startup that has developed a ranking system for products based around environmental, humanitarian and health scores. While the companies didn’t release terms of the deal, UL is one of the oldest and most active product safety certification companies.
GoodGuide, founded in 2007 and launched in 2008 by UC Berkeley professor Dara O’Rourke, ranks products — like soap, hair care, and cleaning supplies — on more than 140 pieces of information like whether or not a product has been tested on animals, what its ingredients are and even the social conditions for how a company runs its business. The ranking system runs between 1 to 10, and GoodGuide also offers a purchase analyser and mobile app (for using the ranking while you’re shopping).
GoodGuide is different than some of the more crowd-sourced methods of determining which products are green, because it’s seeking to create an authoritative clearinghouse based on hard data. Clearly that’s why UL wanted to bring them in. GoodGuide raised $3.73 million from NEA and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.