Indigov helps connect besieged lawmakers with their often-frustrated voters – TechCrunch

The Republican deputies are standing growing anger The deadliest mass shooting in nearly a decade at an American school yesterday, when many of their constituents were outraged by their repeated votes against even modest gun control reforms following the mass killings of semi-automatic weapons.

Social networks can not solve the problem. IndigoThe three-year-old 70-year-old startup in New York may not be able to solve it either, but the outfit, which is a service platform for government officials, could probably help. The whole reason for its existence is that it enables legislators և others to communicate with those who voted for them in office, as it reassures these voters that their voices are heard, that their letters, tweets and letters are read. : real person.

How does it work? We talked to the founder of Indigov. Alex CoatesLast week, before yesterday’s tragedy, he described Indigov’s software as a service offering as a kind of multi-channel communication platform, all working together to better enable government officials to “absorb, dismember” and resolve. »: any request or opinion or message that comes to their office. ”

First, Indigov builds websites that Coates thinks are much more responsive to voters than many you can find when looking for a public servant. The company declined to name its customers publicly, citing the website of a New York congressman who immediately offered a list of visitors asking if they would like to request a meeting or sign up for a newsletter or help their community, among others. options.

The second behind-the-scenes part of Indigov’s offer is the workflow management system, which receives incoming emails. from mail, websites, social media, and phone calls, for which the company uses precise matching of text strings to clear their content, says Coates.

Coates, who worked briefly at Brigade, a closed-door civil technology startup founded by renowned founder Sean Parker, argues that technology is more accurate than the natural language process or machine learning, where error rates can fluctuate by up to 2%. from up to 5%. It is enough to be extremely problematic, he says. “It could mean that a voter might get an inappropriate response, և get a screenshot և post on Twitter և become a scandal,” Coates said, adding that text line matching had a “mostly zero” error rate. (He argues that by dramatically improving employees’ ability to process inbound content, they can respond to voters’ within hours’, not months).

The third part, according to Indigov, is simply better management of the civil servant voter list so that he can communicate more actively with them about the people or things that are likely to be possible.

As with any young startup, how much power Indigov can gain remains a question. The young company, we estimate, currently has hundreds of customers, based on its claim to “support 190 million Americans” through its technology.

At the same time, bigger CRM vendors, including Salesforcelook at the same opportunity that Indigov is doing to replace the immoral inheritance systems that are soaking up the efforts of many civil servants.

Naturally, Coates believes that Indigov is better suited to his growing experience with government officials and voters. “There are a decent number of big sellers trying to get into the space, but our customers need a lot of hyperspecific features. While CRM systems are designed to motivate the customer to buy something, the government does not do it in principle. that”.

Kutz further claims that the market pursued by Indiegov is huge and still wide open. In particular, he cites FedRAMP, the Federal Risk Management Program, which was established in 2011 as a means of securing cloud services used by the US government. “I do not think venture capitalists or most people understand that the government, [through initiatives like FedRamp], is now launching its first cloud-based SaaS. . . “There is a window that is just open to companies like us that completely attribute the govtech script.”

It’s a compelling game. It seems like it worked too. Indigov announced today that it has raised $ 25 million in Series B funding from Tusk Venture Partners, Wicklow Capital, Valor Equity Partners and earlier supporter 8VC. The phase brings the total financing of the company to date more than 38.3 million dollars.

Asked why he got involved in the deal, Bradley Tusk of Tusk Ventures says he has worked in local, state and federal government for more than a decade before becoming a political consultant and investor, and has seen many companies promise have corrected the government. Indigov, he argues, “is the only platform I have seen that actually solves the mass problem facing elected officials,” which “allows them to spend more time addressing the individual needs of voters.”

They may need it more than ever after a shooting at a Texas school yesterday. Today, many Republican lawmakers on social media are being held accountable, including for making investments by the National Rifle Association. Among them is Senator Mitt Romney, who wrote his “prayer and condolences” on Twitter yesterday with a rage at school.

Critics, including Jamel Hill, author of The Atlantic, In response, he noted: Romney has previously received more than $ 13 million in investments from the NRA, according to the data collected. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The senator’s spokesman later said in a statement that “no one’s vote for Senator Romney, as evidenced by his Senate declaration of independence.”

But the announcement և many other announcements were soon suppressed, including yesterday’s pre-match interview with NBA coach Steve Kerry, whose father died after being shot decades ago, and whose outright escalation with gun-supporting senators. became viral.

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