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Progressive data startup Civitech raises $10M

Progressive data startup Civitech raises $10M
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Civitech, a public benefit company that builds data tools for progressive candidates and causes, is raising more than $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Higher Ground Labs, an investment group that supports progressive campaign technology companies.

why does it matter: The investment signals a renewed focus on bottom ballot data and technology to help Democrats recruit local candidates ahead of this fall’s midterm elections. The round values ​​Civitech at $50 million, executives told Axios.

Quick catch up: Civitech provides data, tools, and technology for thousands of progressive campaigns rated from the bottom.

details: The new round was led by High Ground Labs, with participation from investment firms Scout Ventures, Gaingels and other investors.

  • CEO and co-founder Jeremy Smith said Civitech will use the new money to expand its product, marketing and engineering teams.
  • The Austin, Texas-based company launched in 2019 with a $500,000 funding round for friends and family.
  • It has spent the past year integrating Alloy’s validation tools and its voter file data into its digital campaign toolkit, to make it available to campaigns and candidates ahead of the 2022 election cycle.

Between the lines: In conjunction with the increase, Civitech also announced the acquisition of KnockCo, a peer-to-peer text messaging company, and its proprietary technology platform, TextOut.

  • Civitech will integrate TextOut into its suite of tools and services to make it easier for campaigns to communicate with voters via text messages. Most of the KnockCo employees – about 10 people – will join Civitech. It now has 50 employees.
  • Smith points out that in the midst of the pandemic, text messaging has become an important supplement to voter registration and candidate recruitment efforts.

In numbers: Smith said Civitech has worked with more than 40 organizations that are recruiting and training more than 2,700 new progressive candidates to run for office. It registered more than 50,000 new voters in 2021.

The Big Picture: The Democrats faced a failed situation in 2016 due to the level of cooperation on the right in sharing data.

  • In 2020, multiple groups—including the Democratic National Committee, Alloy’s Hawkfish Inc. and Mike Bloomberg—have built competitive digital data and tools.
  • This caused some friction within the party.

what do you want to watch: Smith notes that Civitech’s partnership with Higher Ground Labs helps the company avoid creating duplicate technology solutions that are already being built elsewhere in the democratic civil technology ecosystem.

  • “It’s a lot more collaborative than maybe a typical Silicon Valley VC project… We’re all working toward this kind of larger, mission-oriented goal,” he said, referring to High Ground Labs’ other progressive technology portfolio companies.

go deeper:Civitech gets data and technology from Alloy’

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