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Get real-time updates on issues and legislations through this mobile app
A politics-focused startup called iCitizen Corp aims to get at the heart of a politically-divided nation through an app which it rolled out in November. The app allows people to stay current on issues and legislation, link with elected officials and join surveys, the results of which are received by elected officials themselves, The Wall Street Journal blog Venture Capital Dispatch reported.
Co-Founder and Chairman Duncan Dashiff told Venture Capital Dispatch in an interview that iCitizen's holding firm Citizengine Inc has secured $3.3 million from investors. These included Epiphany Health Ventures Co-Founder Dr. Harry Jacobson, Tennessee public-private partnership LaunchTN and Tennessee-based investment group The Martin Companies, the report said.
The company has also been growing more rapidly than what they originally anticipated, with the app being downloaded over 200,000 times on the iPhone. The company is set to release the iPad and Android versions this quarter and its board is thinking of raising a venture capital round of anywhere from $3 million to $5 million later in 2014, the report said.
According to Dashiff, he conceived iCitizen in the middle of 2011 as politics got more television coverage for the 2012 election. As he hopped from one news program to the next, he saw the same survey results given in various ways but with various conclusions. He told Venture Capital Dispatch that each channel tried to convince their audience that they arrived at the right conclusion and that it was a reflection of the sentiment of the American people.
Dashiff did not give the names of the channels because he wanted, like iCitizen, to be nonpartisan. Yet he recalled saying to his wife that what was happening was ridiculous and asking her, "If I can't figure out what the American people want, how are elected officials supposed to know?"
A nonpartisan startup, elected Democratic and Republican officials have given their support to the app. It also has a non-partisan advisory board, the report said.