First Of Its Kind Venture Capital Fund Pumps Millions Into Govtech Startups

Jack Moore | | September 15, 2014

Over the past 15 months or so, a California-based venture capital fund has been quietly raising millions of dollars for a handful of technology startups designed to make the government work more efficiently.  It’s called the GovTech Fund, and it’s the first-ever venture capital fund to specifically fundraise for startups dedicated to improving and empowering government technology.  As of Monday -- the official end of the first round of funding -- the fund has raised $23 million and invested in four initial companies, including a tool to help contracting officers at all levels of government make smarter buying decisions and an online platform that backers think could eventually replace the traditional town hall meeting.

What do they all have in common?  "When we think about ‘govtech,’ what we're talking about are those software and some hardware tools that effectively enable the day-to-day of government” -- or the “operating system” of government, as Ron Bouganim, managing partner and founder of the GovTech Fund, told Nextgov.

The four companies receiving investments in the initial round are:

  • SmartProcure, a procurement-intelligence platform, which has aggregated more than 100 million purchase orders from about 3,800 different agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
  • MindMixer, a community-engagement platform used by local governments and civic organizations to convene virtual meetings.
  • AmigoCloud, a next-generation smartphone mapping tool built on open datasets that allows local officials to quickly map city sewer lines, for example, or the effects of a natural disaster...