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Contxto – Brazilian govtech Colab closed an investment for over R$3 million (~US$558,000) and made the announcement this week through Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios. The Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) and Luminate led the round and were joined by EDP Ventures who also contributed.
The startup which facilitates communication between citizens and government officials shall use these funds to reach new markets. Specifically, it will expand its customer portfolio to address companies that provide services, like electricity, to cities.
Colab adds efficiency to governance
Citizens are often encouraged to contact public officials or political candidates to present any concerns in city projects or potential problems.
But often these good intentions fall short in the face of a reality where communication is disjointed.
People interested in contacting the city council may do so over an email that’s left unanswered or tagging authorities on social media only to receive a generic (useless) response.
In light of this problem, entrepreneurs Gustavo Maia and Paulo Pandolfi launched Colab in 2013.
The platform they created works as a social media site where citizens can post their opinions. The system then processes this data and sends it to decision makers and political candidates in a clear format for them to study.
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Ultimately, Colab wants to add efficiency to an otherwise bloated and muddled system. Is it a cakewalk having the government as a customer? Of course not. But the startup has managed.
“We have a sustainable ticketing [system] and a very scalable solution given the number of Brazilian municipalities,” explains Gustavo Maia. “Having the government as a customer is difficult, but we never lose a contract.”
Up until now, its app has connected 300,000 users to over 100 city halls in Brazil. Besides raising funding, the startup has also been busy launching an initiative to help authorities track the spread of Covid-19.
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