founder

Founder Profile: Bringing Integrity To Procurement With Anne Chambers, Founder and CEO Of Certifiably

Summary

As of August 14th, Certifiably has raised $22.9K of the $107K goal

As many investors in equity crowdfunding deals know, nowadays it is just as important for businesses to do good in their communities and environment as it is to do well on the balance sheet. Increasingly companies are being challenged by consumers to be sustainably minded.

This by all means includes sourcing goods and services from businesses that are ethical and sustainably minded as well. With controversy surrounding even the biggest of businesses like Apple as it pertains to their suppliers, the need for businesses to confidently transact with other like-minded businesses is increasingly important.

Enter Certifiably, the first company focused on creating a marketplace that ensures businesses can source goods and services from other ethical / like-minded businesses.

With a huge market opportunity, Anne Chambers sat down with us to discuss the business opportunity in greater detail as she and her team continue to raise their seed round on Wunderfund.
Chris Lustrino

Anne, can you provide us background on how you decided to found Certifiably?

Anne Chambers

I founded Certifiably when I realized there was no easy way for certified companies, like Certified Woman Owned or Certified B Corps, to find each other and do business together. And then I realized that it is also an issue for large corporations who are choosing to do more and more of their purchases with certified companies.

Chris Lustrino

For those that don’t know how do you define Certifiably as a business?

Anne Chambers

It’s a marketplace for buyers and sellers who want to do business with values-driven companies and it’s like a google for supply chain professionals who want to do the same.

Chris Lustrino

What market trends do you think support the need for a business like yours to exist?

Anne Chambers

Here is some information from Nielsen’s 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report: and since 2015 it’s moving more and more in this direction.  “…globally, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. Millennials gave an even more impressive showing, with 73% of surveyed millennials indicating a similar preference. Additionally, 81% of millennials even expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.

Walmart research says that 90% of women would prefer to shop with woman owned companies, and millenials say the exact same thing.

Chris Lustrino

How do you plan to rate these companies and ensure the quality of the ratings?

Anne Chambers

We don’t rate the companies. The companies are all certified by third party organizations. However, our users will be able to rate and review the companies so the ratings and reviews will be crowdsourced.

Chris Lustrino

Who is the core customer you are targeting? (e.g., size of corporation, industry)

Anne Chambers

Certifiably is being created for companies of all sizes. Our roll out strategy is to target Fortune 100 companies. We have one partner already- I can’t say who it is at this point, and three more like-minded companies that we have identified as our target  launch partners. Our target companies are all committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and will use Certifiably as a way to measure their progress against those goals.

Chris Lustrino

What does the corporate customer acquisition strategy look like?

Anne Chambers

As stated above, we are targeting large companies for the roll out, and will then leverage their supplier base to get smaller companies on board.

Chris Lustrino

Do you think there will be any limiting factors to companies adopting this service if they ultimately realize purchasing from the platform (from ethical businesses) drives us bottom line cost?

Anne Chambers

We don’t expect it to drive up the cost.

Chris Lustrino

As you think about building this ethical marketplace, you have a bit of a chicken and egg problem of how to drive enough suppliers and buyers early on. How do you plan to overcome that challenge?

Anne Chambers

Yes, chicken and egg is always a dilemma for a marketplace. In our case we have the luxury of having our large corporate partners drive adoption for the smaller companies. This is the stated intention of our corporate partners, so we are confident in this strategy.

Chris Lustrino

Why did you decide to pursue an equity crowdfunding raise over traditional capital sources?

Anne Chambers

Our company mission is all about creating access for companies that might not otherwise have access to opportunities with big companies and with each other. Crowdfunding is similar in that it is about creating access to investment opportunities for people who might not otherwise have access to them. It made perfect sense to me, and our first corporate partner really liked the idea too. And Wunderfund, the platform we chose, has a very similar mission and purpose, so it all works!

Chris Lustrino

How will you deploy the capital you raise?

Anne Chambers

We will use the capital to build out our 2.0 platform and also hire some key people for the team.

Chris Lustrino

As we think about the long term plan of the organization, do you see a large corporation wanting to acquire your capability or is this more of a standalone business?

Anne Chambers

I think we will need to be a standalone company for some time because what we are creating needs to be accessible to any company looking to use their purchasing power to make an impact. However I think there are several obvious companies that would want to acquire us if we decided to sell.

As you can tell, Anne and her team are building the next-gen procurement platform for sustainably minded businesses that know that when you put good in, you get good out. Be sure to check out Certifiably on Wunderfund, one of the newest equity crowdfunding platforms to come to market.

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About: Chris Lustrino

A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.

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