Some of Facebook’s biggest backers, Sean Parker, Peter Thiel, and Andreessen Horowitz partner Ben Horowitz, are hoping that cutting-edge technology can change politics the way Facebook changed the way people interact.
Venture firms are investing in startups that tap into data to revolutionize campaigning, potentially leveraging the playing field and empowering the electorate.
There’s no formal measure of how much investment is flowing into these startups, but with big name firms like Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, and SV Angel getting behind some of these new companies, it’s clear that Silicon Valley’s smartest investors see potential not just to shake up politics, but also to cash in. (Read More: Romney and G.O.P. Make Inroads in Silicon Valley.)
Horowitz and Parker have invested in and are on the board of a startup called NationBuilder. It crunches data from public voting records and sells analysis to campaigns, along with tools to manage mass communication via email phone and text.
Horowitz said NationBuilder is a leader in a fast-growing market worth tens of billions of dollars. The fact that NationBuilder is delivering software in “non-partisan ways is a technological leap,” he said.
Another startup in this space is Votizen, backed by Sean Parker, Ashton Kutcher and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, among others. It combines public voting records with data from social networks to help mobilize voters. (Read More: Ashton Kutcher Invests in Iowa-Based Dwolla.)
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