A conversation with the founders of goodbuy

Cary Fortin and Cara Oppenhiemer are the cofounders of goodbuy, a Boise, ID based company that was founded in 2021. They recently completed a $3.1M funding round.

Tell us a little bit about goodbuy 

Goodbuy is an online shopping experience, where you can discover 800+ unique, independent brands, all in one place. 

2023 was an eventful year for us. We onboarded 1,500 small and independent businesses, and completed our $3.1M raise. 

On fundraising 

That environment was SO incredibly challenging. We’re two female founders and we’re parents — we worked our tails off to raise each and every dollar invested.

There is still a lot of geographical bias in venture capital. There is a school of thought that serious entrepreneurs live in the Bay Area or at least in LA/NY or other major coastal cities. As Denver and Salt Lake grow in prominence and respect, I’m hopeful that Boise will be lumped in as a part of a burgeoning and thriving Mountain West tech hub. In the meantime, we’re so SO grateful for the folks deploying capital in Boise currently, working to grow this ecosystem from the ground up.

On picking capital providers

The majority of our capital was raised from Stage.O and Capital Eleven, both based here in the Treasure Valley.  We picked capital providers The way most founders choose them in such a challenging financial market – whoever says yes. 😉 On a more serious note, we look for capital providers who believe not only in goodbuy, but also in us, Cary and Cara, as founders. We treasure the folks who continually show up for us in tough cycles and who use their networks to help us expand ours.

On advice for entrepreneurs looking to raise capital

I don’t know if we can offer anything that hasn’t been said before. But with my whole chest I will say: there will be 10x more no’s that yes’s and that is hard. Don’t look at the process as binary (did we get investment or not) but as a process where you’re learning and getting better from some feedback (and ignoring the less helpful feedback 🙂 ).  

Above all, get yourself an incredible cofounder who can walk out of boardrooms — whether you’ve been praised or been met with the hardest no — and encourage you to keep pushing forward. 

On starting and running a company in Idaho

We both spent over a decade in California (LA and SF respectively) and chose Idaho as the place to put down roots, be close to family (each of our partners’ families go back several generations in Boise), and to raise our own families. We actually met touring a daycare 20 weeks pregnant with our first kids. 

This is a small town full of incredibly talented and also very approachable people; when you’re respectful, appreciative and act with integrity in your relationships, there are few doors in Boise that a person cannot open. 

Boise is full of individuals and organizations that want us to succeed. This is invaluable.

This blog is written by Sarah Dolen.