BOSTON– Voatz, a mobile focused election voting and citizen engagement platform co-founded by Nimit Sawhne, announced that it has raised over $2.2 million in seed round funding led by Medici Ventures with participation from the Urban Innovation Fund and Oakhouse Partners.
Other notable investors in the round include Walt Winshall, Michael Dornbrook, Joe Caruso and members of the Walnut Ventures angels group, the company said in a statement.
The company plans to use the capital to build out its business development team, expand its reach across the United States and accelerate the development of several exciting new product features.
Voatz enables citizens to vote in many types of elections and voting events via a secured smartphone or tablet. Past attempts at Internet based voting have failed to gain traction due to fundamental concerns around security, auditability, and voter anonymity. The Voatz platform is able to tackle all these challenges by using biometrics for security and blockchain technology to ensure tamper-proof recordkeeping, identity verification and auditing.
“We are delighted and grateful for the support we have received from our investors to help grow our team and accelerate the deployment of our cutting edge voting and citizen engagement platform,” said Voatz Co-Founder and CEO Nimit Sawhney.
“Voatz is a great addition to the Medici Ventures portfolio. The Voatz team has developed a leading solution to usher in an era of greater efficiency and transparency in voting,” said Medici Ventures President Jonathan Johnson. “Democracy will benefit greatly from critical improvements blockchain technology can bring to voting systems. For example, providing secure, immutable record keeping will bring greater confidence in accurate results, and ease of use will lower the barrier to entry for citizens to participate in elections. We look forward to partnering with the Voatz team to improve this critical function of society.”
Several leading universities, labor unions, state political parties, church groups and non-profits have already deployed the Voatz platform successfully for their internal elections, convention voting, and other voting functions. The company is now in the process of deploying its technology for town meeting voting in Massachusetts. The platform is currently accessible by invitation only and will be accessible to a wider audience in the coming weeks.
“We’re excited to support Voatz in its bold mission to dramatically increase voting access and security,” said Julie Lein, Managing Partner of the Urban Innovation Fund. “Voatz tackles two of the core challenges in voting — low participation in local elections and the need for better citizen engagement. Its mobile-first solution is poised to be a category leader, democratizing voting across government, corporate, academic, and union elections.”
“We are deeply impressed with the entire Voatz team. Their innovative approach to combining biometrics and blockchain technology achieves a dramatic improvement in voting infrastructure security. The Voatz platform increases voter confidence and participation, solving two critical objectives of voting system organizers around the world,” said Andrew Maguire, Investor at Oakhouse Partners.