Kevin Warnock

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World of Good Inc. thanks me for investing my money

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World of Good Incorporated thank you for investing poster, February 2010

World of Good Incorporated thank you for investing poster, February 2010

I was the first financial investor in World of Good, Inc not related to the company founders by family.

I participated in the Series A, Series B and Series C rounds, after which the company was acquired.

I met founders Priya Haji and Siddharth Sanghvi in about 2005, the day they moved into the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Laboratory in the basement of The Bancroft Hotel across the street from the University of California at Berkeley. That startup space is now closed, in favor of new space at the top of the tallest building in Berkeley, California. The new name for the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Laboratory is UC Berkeley Startup Accelerator@Skydeck.

My desk was just inches from Haji’s desk, and we became very good friends, talking on the phone for hours a week.

Haji is the woman on the left in the photograph at the bottom right above.

World of Good was acquired in early 2010 by two companies.

Greater Good, owned by Charity USA bought the wholesale division of World of Good, Inc. This part of the company sold thousands of products to over 1,000 retail stores, including Whole Foods Market, among many others.

eBay bought the World of Good brand name and the matching Internet domain name so the online marketplace created earlier by both companies together could continue.

Here is the February 25, 2010 press release by World of Good, Inc. announcing the acquisitions:

“World of Good Inc. Sells Brand and Related Assets to eBay; Wholesale Division Acquired by GreaterGood/Charity USA

World of Good Brand Continues to Represent Sustainable Shopping and Market Access for Global Artisans Through E-Commerce

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – February 25, 2010 – World of Good Inc., a five-year-old social venture that connects artisans from developing communities with mainstream retail markets, announced today that eBay has fully acquired its brand and related assets. World of Good Inc. also announced that GreaterGood/Charity USA has acquired its wholesale division and line of designer, Fair Trade products which will be re-branded, while existing relationships with retailers and artisan partners will be maintained. The terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

eBay’s acquisition of the brand results from a two-year long collaboration between the two companies that led to the development of by eBay, the world’s largest multi-seller marketplace for socially and environmentally responsible shopping. The transaction reflects eBay’s growing commitment to engaging consumers to affect social change through sustainable commerce. It also represents World of Good’s commitment to creating the greatest market opportunity for small, Fair Trade and environmentally responsible producers around the world. The online marketplace hosts hundreds of sellers, with tens of thousands of sustainable products from 85 countries.

“We are excited about the opportunity to scale the World of Good mission to an unprecedented degree through eBay,” said World of Good co-founder and CEO Priya Haji. “Also, we are confident that GreaterGood will be an excellent steward of the retail partnerships we’ve built and will continue to grow Fair Trade through mainstream retail channels.”

GreaterGood’s acquisition of World of Good’s wholesale division reflects its growing Fair Trade business, including its Global Girlfriend apparel line. Since 2004, World of Good has developed extensive retail product lines for partners like Whole Foods Market, Hallmark and Disney, among others. GreaterGood will continue to work with the same retail partners and artisan groups in order to grow market access for small artisan suppliers around the globe.

World of Good was founded in 2004 by U.C. Berkeley’s Haas Graduate School of Business MBA’s Priya Haji and Siddharth Sanghvi with the mission to help small artisan producers improve their livelihoods by providing them with access to mainstream retail markets. The company has impacted more than 40,000 individual artisans across 70 countries by connecting them with millions of U.S. consumers. Haji also founded World of Good Development Organization, a sister non-profit focused on improving the lives of low-income women in the developing world. In December 2009, the Development Organization was honored by The Tech Museum of Innovation for its Fair Wage Guide, a free, open-source platform that calculates fair wages for artisans around the world and specific to their locations. The organization will continue its work to create technologies and tools that help companies ensure fair wages to informal sector workers.

Robert Chatwani, Director of eBay Global Citizenship said of the acquisition, “We look forward to this next step in our commitment to building an integrated, sustainable shopping experience within the eBay marketplace and are dedicated to applying our reach, resources and business model to create a positive impact for people, the planet and communities throughout the world.”

“GreaterGood is excited to grow the retail partnerships that World of Good built and to continue to help small artisan and Fair Trade producers reach these important retail channels,” said Stacey Edgar, founder and president of Global Girlfriend and director of the GreaterGood Wholesale Division.

About eBay:
Founded in 1995, eBay Inc. connects hundreds of millions of people around the world every day, empowering them to explore new opportunities and innovate together. eBay Inc. does this by providing the Internet platforms of choice for global commerce and payments. Building on this positive foundation, eBay’s sustainability efforts harness our technology and reach to extend this positive impact into vibrant, sustainable commerce experiences. Our sustainability portfolio includes, the eBay Green Team, the eBay Foundation, eBay Giving Works and MicroPlace.

About GreaterGood/Charity USA:
The GreaterGood Network of websites (including TheHungerSite, TheBreastCancerSite, TheAnimalRescueSite, Global Girlfriend, and others) offers the public a unique opportunity to support causes they care about through a free daily click and Gifts that Give More™ (100% of these donations go to the cause of the patron’s choice).  The GreaterGood Network’s online stores offer more than 3,000 Fair Trade items, with up to 30% of the purchase price going to charity. In fiscal year 2009, the GreaterGood Network gave more than $3 million to more than 50 charities around the world.

Media Contacts:

Lonnie Shekhtman, World of Good

Annie Lescroart, eBay
(408) 376-7458,

Rosemary Jones, GreaterGood/Charity USA

Haji and Sanghvhi worked incredibly diligently on World of Good.

You may click on the image of the thank you poster above to see it at full size, which will enable you to read the captions, which tell of some of the many successes World of Good is responsible for achieving. World of Good sent me the poster you see above in a beautiful frame, and I have it displayed in my home.

So that the captions can be found by search engines, here they are in text form:

  • Provided artisans in 70 countries access to new markets and enabled 50,000 people, mostly women and children, to earn better livelihoods through fair trade.
  • Supported the create of the FairWageGuide, being used to improve wages of informal sector workers by 600 companies in twenty countries.
  • Sold over three million fair trade and handcrafted products.
  • Made fair trade accessible to millions of Americans and allowed them to make more informed choices.
  • Partnered with Fortune 100 companies, including eBay, Disney, Hallmark, Walmart and Whole Foods Market, to held them source products ethically.
  • Completed 28 economic development projects that included schools, wells and healthcare initiatives in twenty countries.

I am proud to have invested in World of Good.