MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Polco, a data-driven civic participation SAAS platform for community members and leaders, today announced that it raised $14 million in funding from an investor group led by Mercury Fund and including BAT Ventures and Royal Street Ventures.
In conjunction with the fundraise, Polco is releasing the company’s next generation platform featuring new enhanced community performance analytics and insights capabilities. Polco recently joined leaders in local government, data science, and performance measurement to found Government Partnership for Action and Learning (“GPAL”), which will revolutionize how local governments measure and drive performance. Polco will integrate into GPAL and be the exclusive platform for communities to access and interact with GPAL’s first of its kind uniform performance measurement system to improve the quality of local governance and community livability across the nation.
Polco is the leading provider of standardized, statistically-driven local government constituent surveys and performance comparisons and is expanding on that foundation to help local governments in a more robust way. In 2021, federal and state grants to local governments, which hinge on performance data, increased ten times as much compared to the prior five years. At the same time, local governments’ trust and satisfaction ratings, which have historically been dependably high, have declined precipitously over the last few years.
“With our data and insights, Polco is committed to helping local governments win grants, continue to improve constituent quality of life, and restore trust in local government organization to previous levels and beyond. We are pleased to be working with Mercury and our other partners,” said Polco CEO and co-Founder, Nick Mastronardi, PhD.
“With increased fragmentation within governments and constituents, the need for verifiable transparency has never been greater,” said Andrew White, Venture Partner at Mercury. “The Polco team is delivering a truly innovative solution that addresses the pitfalls of bureaucratic communications in a digitally native way with a focus on easy accessibility. We are thrilled to support Polco’s mission to improve the civic process through its data capabilities.”
Polco serves a growing base of customers of more than 1,400 local governments and municipalities, including Fort Collins, Colorado; San Jose and Sacramento, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Jupiter Beach, Florida; Oshkosh, Wisconsin; and many others.
“As communications technology continues to advance across commercial sectors, governing groups and their constituencies are often still dealing with traditional, slow-moving or inaccurate methods of gathering public input. Today’s polarized environment has exacerbated this problem,” added Polco co-Founder and CTO Alex Pedersen. “Polco was born out of the need to deliver insights that power smart decisions, and ultimately, improve quality of life.”
GPAL has received significant support from highly regarded academic and civic institutions, including the National League of Cities, The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), ASU, and Envisio, all of whom are committed to advancing community engagement in local governments.
Polco was advised by Livingstone during the transaction.
Polco delivers community engagement and analytics solutions that enable government leaders to make informed decisions with confidence. Polco makes it easy to capture and evaluate insights that are accurate and reliable through engagement technology and survey research. With our in-house National Research Center, we are the first and only platform to bring together validated feedback, local performance data, and nationally representative benchmark comparisons. Polco cuts through the noise to help build community trust, maximize the impact of public resources, and drive satisfaction. To learn more visit https://info.polco.us/.