BOSTON, MA, Voatz, a mobile-focused voting and citizen engagement platform, announced today that it has raised $7 million in Series A funding.
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The round was led by Medici Ventures and Techstars with participation from Urban Innovation Fund and Oakhouse Partners. The company plans to leverage the funds to enhance the accessibility and usability of its technology, and to grow its security footprint as it launches new pilot programs with states, cities and select international jurisdictions.
Voatz enables citizens to vote in many types of elections and voting events via a secured smartphone or tablet. Earlier this year in March 2019, the company announced a new pilot program with the City and County of Denver, CO to expand absentee voting for deployed military personnel and overseas US citizens during the city's 2019 municipal elections, which concluded successfully earlier this week. Last year, Voatz also conducted a successful pilot with 24 counties in West Virginia during the 2018 Midterm Elections where deployed military personnel and overseas US citizens leveraged the platform to cast their ballots. This pilot represented the first time that mobile voting secured by a blockchain-based infrastructure had ever been used in a US Federal Election.
"Voting is a great application of blockchain technology," said Medici Ventures President Jonathan Johnson. "What Voatz is doing to allow more registered voters to participate remotely in elections in a safe and secure way is important. It bodes well for more widespread adoption of the Voatz application. That's one reason we've increased our investment in the company by leading this Series A round."
"Techstars has been impressed with the vision and drive demonstrated by the Voatz team since their participation in the Techstars Boston Accelerator in 2017. We are thrilled to continue to support Voatz on their mission to modernize the technology of voting and to improve the voting experience for constituents around the world," said Techstars Partner Cody Simms, who is joining the company's board as part of this round.
The Voatz platform uses biometrics, encryption and blockchain technology to increase convenience, security and auditability to election systems. In addition to the pilot programs with Denver and West Virginia, Voatz has partnered with state political parties, universities, labor unions, church groups and nonprofits to administer elections using its platform.
"Voatz has the potential to revolutionize the way we vote. By providing access through a mobile device, Voatz can dramatically increase citizen participation, and the company is committed to ensuring everyone votes safely and securely. We're excited to back Voatz to make voting more accessible and secure," said Urban Innovation Fund Managing Partner Julie Lein.
"Many of the key issues facing the world today cannot be addressed until we have functioning democracies with high levels of citizen participation. The Voatz election platform provides a radically more inclusive and secure voting process and the team's progress has been incredible. Programs with states like West Virginia and cities like Denver make it clear that Voatz is on the right track for delivering large scale impact and we are incredibly excited to continue supporting their growth," said Andrew Maguire, Investing Partner at Oakhouse Partners.
"We are delighted and grateful for the continued support of our existing and new investors to help us accelerate the development and deployment of our technology," said Voatz Co-Founder & CEO Nimit Sawhney. "We are committed to the steady progress of mobile voting backed by blockchain technology to improve our election infrastructure and make remote voting more accessible and safer."
Voatz is an award-winning mobile elections platform that is changing the way the world votes. Backed by military-grade security and cutting-edge technology (including biometrics and blockchain infrastructure), Voatz enables smartphone and tablet voting to increase accessibility and security in elections. Since 2016, Voatz has run 39 elections with towns, cities, states, both major state political parties, colleges and universities, and unions. More recently, Voatz conducted the first mobile blockchain vote in US Federal Election history in partnership with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office to empower deployed military and overseas citizens to vote in the 2018 Primary Elections (2 counties) and the 2018 Midterm Elections (24 counties). In March 2019, Voatz was selected by the City/County of Denver, CO to pilot mobile blockchain voting for deployed military and overseas citizens during its 2019 Municipal General Election. Learn more at https://blog.voatz.com
About Medici Ventures:
Launched in 2014, Medici Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Overstock.com, Inc., created to leverage blockchain technology to solve real-world problems with transparent, efficient and secure solutions. Medici Ventures has a growing portfolio of groundbreaking blockchain-focused investments, including t0.com, Peernova, Bitt, SettleMint, Factom, and IdentityMind, Spera and Symbiont. The company's majority-owned financial technology company, t0.com, executed the world's first blockchain-based stock offering in December 2016.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include all statements other than statements of historical fact. Additional information regarding factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC on May 9, 2019, and any subsequent filings with the SEC.