Silicon Valley startup OpenLabel closes a 500K seed round, and today launches a free iPhone app and website that lets consumers and non-profit partners attach information and product ratings directly onto any barcoded product.
After closing half a million dollar seed investment from investors at Google, Amazon, and MicroVentures, tech startup OpenLabel released its free mobile app and web platform today that helps smart shoppers make healthier, more responsible, and more informed decisions.
By applying concepts from crowd-powered platforms like Yelp, Twitter and Reddit, the team aims to eventually replace the traditional, outdated product label with more relevant, more dynamic information like company and product ratings and analysis from a variety of sources.
Users simply scan the barcode of any product in the world, and contribute their own information and recommendations on issues such as health and safety, social justice, environmental impact, politics, and animal welfare. Each “label” can be shared and rated by the community, and consumers can follow the sources they trust to see updates in their personal feed.
The team has indexed over 20 million products, and their private beta users have already contributed over 100,000 labels ranging from personal recommendations to more serious data from dozens of non-profit partners such as Fairtrade, Healthy Child, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Unicef, and the Environmental Working Group.
“The products that we buy – and the trillions of dollars we spend on them – have a profound affect on the health and safety of our families, our society, and the planet.” said CEO Scott Kennedy. “Consumers want and need to know more than what is printed on the package”.
According to Deloitte, 4 out of 5 consumers use mobile phones while in retail stores, and 80% of smartphone users want mobile-optimized product info while shopping.