From Campaigns and Elections by Sean J. Miller Democratic firms are expanding their self-service digital platforms to meet growing demand from candidates
Democratic VC Fund Backs SF Start-Up SpeakEasy Political to Help Democrats Win in 2020
San Francisco, CA – Higher Ground Labs, a progressive technology incubator and accelerator, has announced that it will invest in SpeakEasy Political, a San Francisco-based startup that automates the creation and placement of digital ads and direct mail. SpeakEasy has not taken outside investment to date, and is on track to triple last cycle’s revenue.
SpeakEasy was founded by Eric Jaye, Bergen Kenny and Danielle Winterhalter, and was incubated out of Storefront Political Media, a full-service consulting firm and ad agency based in San Francisco.
“Our mission is to streamline the production and placement of media, so more Democrats can afford to run and win,” said SpeakEasy Managing Partner Danielle Winterhalter. “Our position is that the cost of running for office is too high and this price barrier means too many qualified people stay on the sidelines. Our tools dramatically lower media costs, and our platform helped empower over a hundred candidates to run and win last cycle. We are proud of how far we’ve come and now Higher Ground’s support will help us to serve even more Democratic candidates and progressive causes,” Winterhalter said.
Here’s how SpeakEasy Political works:
SpeakEasy Political has been used by state parties, labor federations and individual candidates across the country. The platform, which is integrated with the national voter file, allows users to quickly create and serve digital ads and/or direct mail to their targets. As the localization of media becomes increasingly important, SpeakEasy Political is able to offer cost-effective solutions for running dozens – or even hundreds – of neighborhood-based campaigns simultaneously.
“At Higher Ground Labs, our mission is to accelerate technologies that will help Democrats win,” said Shomik Dutta, a co-founding partner of the venture capital firm. “We are impressed with SpeakEasy’s technology and ability to make running for office more accessible. We look forward to helping them achieve even broader market adoption and building the Democratic bench.”
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