AP NEWS

Madison startup Goods Unite Us lands financing and a ‘thumbs up’ from Oprah

February 18, 2019

Madison startup Goods Unite Us is starting the year with not just one big bang but two.

Founded in 2017 to keep tabs on corporate political contributions, Goods Unite Us has scored its first $500,000 from investors, to be used for marketing and for enhancing its platform, said co-founder Brian Potts.

The investors include MaSa Partners, a Madison social impact venture fund; individual investor Mark Bakken; and Humble Rogue Ventures, of Florida.

Company leaders sound at least as excited about a mention in “O, The Oprah Magazine.” Goods Unite Us is one of the five “High Fives” to cheer about, in the March issue that came out last week. “The tool gives new meaning to the idea of voting with your wallet,” the magazine says.

The publicity is “awesome,” said chief operating officer and co-founder Amy Jo Miller.

“We (Goods Unite Us) get a fair amount ‘haters’ (mostly on social media) questioning the validity and/or the integrity of the information we provide. And we take the accuracy of our data pretty seriously! So, having a celebrity like Oprah vouch for Goods Unite Us in ‘O’ magazine is huge,” she said.

Goods Unite Us tracks about 4,000 companies, listing contributions made by their parent companies and top executives to politicians and political action committees. More than 200,000 people tap into the database each month, accessing the free information through the company’s app or website, Potts said.

The idea, the company says, is “to empower people to become political consumers so we can put an end to corporate political donations.”

Goods Unite Us has five employees, all in Madison, and plans to add at least one more, Potts said.