We’re thrilled to announce that following a successful partnership, we can now add social enterprise Giki, to our growing investment portfolio.

In 2017, husband and wife co-founders Joanna and James Hand set out to create an app that would empower consumers to make more informed decisions about the products they buy or consume.

Joanna and James Hand

In a consumer-driven society, Giki promotes sustainable consumption and makes it easy for people to discover what ‘good’ looks like in products based on their own values and beliefs.

Take palm oil for instance; we’re often told about its environmental impact but did you know that there are multiple names for the product and its derivatives? This confusion is one of the challenges facing consumers as they try to make more ethical choices and one that Giki intends to solve.

From corporate to conscious

Prior to 2017 Joanna had a rich career in news and current-affairs journalism and later for sustainability charity CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) which set her on a path to want to empower consumers to effect change at an individual level. James meanwhile studied economics at Cambridge and, after spending 20 years working in the city, firstly with Schroders and later as co-chief investment officer for asset management firm Investec, decided it was time to use his experience to do more good in the world.

The aim was simply to equip consumers with the necessary information they need in order to make their own decisions based around 3 core values; sustainability, health and fairness. Joanna and James were keen for the experience to be a positive one rather than one based around judgement and taking a moral high ground.

For instance, co-founder James told us about his love of a particular brand of Mexican cooking sauces, “I know they’re not the healthiest option but they’re a bit of a treat. It’s about being able to make those informed decisions”, he said.

After developing an initial MVP release of the app with the ability to scan barcodes, return product data and assign badges to score products, we worked closely with Joanna and James to develop new public beta releases. The latest version takes onboard feedback from users, develops the badge system further and offers alternative products with an equal or better score, as we continue to learn what is important to users.

Joanna and James have big plans for Giki, “It would be fantastic if this could be part of a movement” explains Joanna, “such that sustainability within products really does become the mainstream.”

Right now we’re busy putting the finishing touches to the public release version of the app and we’re looking forward to putting the Simpleweb office to the test to find out just how healthy and ethical our kitchen cupboards are!

In the meantime, you can find out more and sign up for early-access at gikibadges.com.

If you’d like to discuss your startup or project, get in touch with Simpleweb today.

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