Funding the Resistance with $1M to Tech & Media Startups Driving Progressive Change


By Julie Menter

In the categories:

[UPDATED August 2, 2017: New Media Ventures has made three additional investments as part of our pledge to move $1 Million to progressive organizations this year. The new companies are AerialSpaces, Daily Action and Hustle.]

We are excited to announce that we have committed $1 million to a new cohort of progressive startups working at the intersection of tech, media, and politics.

After receiving more than 500 applications during our “Resist and Rebuild” open call for funding (up from 100 last year!), we narrowed down the field to 17 and are delighted to be investing in the following startups:

  • AerialSpaces: a full-service virtual event SaaS platform helping orgs & brands of all sizes reach global audiences in mass

  • Amplify: a mobile app for grassroots groups that gets members in the habit of taking their group’s recommended actions and cheering each other on

  • Daily Action: an SMS-based app empowering >270k citizens to call Congress with a quick swipe of the phone

  • Flippable: turning America blue by building a movement to flip states

  • Hustle: working to scale & humanize the way organizations communicate with people

  • Indivisible: building a model for how local activism can affect real change in Congress

  • Mijente: combining digital & offline organizing w. creative media to inspire activists

  • Notifica: connecting immigrants at risk of deportation with their support networks when they need them most

  • Online SOS: serving and supporting people experiencing online harassment

  • Pantsuit Nation: using storytelling to drive social and political change with a modern ability to reach a large, digitally savvy audience eager to participate in collective action

  • Ragtag: assembling a volunteer team of technologists, tech enthusiasts, political and community organizers, and activists to build progressive change from the ground up

  • Sister District: harnessing the energy of volunteers and donors in deeply blue (or red) places and channeling it to critical state races where it can make a big impact

  • Swing Left: helping you find and commit to supporting progressives in your closest Swing District so that you can help ensure we take back the House in 2018

  • Townhall Project: empowering constituents across the country to have face-to-face conversations with their elected representatives

  • Vigilant: building a database so you can search and monitor all of the public records data sources you need — at once

  • VoterCircle: building a friend-to-friend voter outreach platform that dramatically reduces the time and cost of outreach

  • Stay Woke: establishing a community of learners, builders, and activists to create solutions to advance equity and justice in America

Over the last year, we have seen an unprecedented attack on the institutions, processes, and values that form the foundation of our democracy. But there are signs of hope. Every day, we are inspired by the wave of civic mobilization sweeping the country.

Our mission is to find, support, and finance organizations that are telling new stories, building advocacy movements, and catalyzing civic engagement. To date, we have invested more than $10 million, catalyzing $50 million in follow-on funding, helping 60 startups get off the ground.

We also know that it’s critical for more investors to join us in this space. These bold new initiatives need immediate support to get off the ground and scale their impact. If we don’t act now, we could miss this moment.

That’s why we’re excited that this round of funding is part of a broader investor movement to build the future we want to see; Propel Capital and Omidyar Network have both joined our fund this year. Propel Capital, is also making separate follow-on investments in Indivisible and SisterDistrict and is conducting due diligence on others in the fund for potential investment later in the summer. These groups collectively need $15 million in funding, and we hope more investors will join us in supporting their bold efforts.

We have a clear opportunity to defend our democratic institutions, champion our shared values, and advance social justice. And we need you — more entrepreneurs working to solve the most important problems, more funders looking to invest in world-changing projects, more tech leaders eager to share your expertise, and more accelerators ready to turbocharge the next generation of leaders.

As always, get in touch with us so we can work together to innovate, inspire, and ignite the fire of progressive change.

About New Media Ventures:

New Media Ventures is a mission-driven venture fund and investor network supporting startups that use media and technology to drive progressive change. We are uniquely positioned at the intersection of venture capital, progressive politics, and technology, and work to provide the necessary links between Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.