Irish start-up sells canvassing software to political candidates in US

24 Apr 2014

Cork-based technology firm VConnecta has signed up its first live customers for its cloud and mobile-based canvassing tool in Nevada, where primary Congressional elections are taking place in June and a general election will be held in November.

The company is the first Irish company to supply campaigning technology to major political parties in the US.

Vconnecta’s technology Ecanvasser is a community engagement platform that provides real-time insights generated from data collected in the field. This helps businesses, organisations, and community leaders connect and listen to local communities.

Vconnecta has achieved private equity and local enterprise funding to boost its expansion to date. Its workforce is projected to expand to more than 20 employees by the end of next year.

Asserting a US presence

Founder Brendan Finucane said that unlike other companies operating in the competitive US political market, Vconnecta maintains a “strict policy of non-partisanship” and is “open for business” to both Republican and Democratic candidates.

Vconnecta said it has already made “substantial inroads” into the Irish political market, with Ecanvasser already in use among candidates from five political parties ahead of local elections in Ireland this May.

Finucane said the opening of the US group of customers “represents a huge milestone in Vconnecta’s expansion,” adding that the company is keen to “develop and deepen” its ties with parties in the US.

“As an Irish start-up in the US political technology market, we’re competing with ‘household names’ there, such as NationBuilder, Organizer, and NGPVan, which are often over 10 times our size,” Finucane added.

“But the rollout of our initial user base in Nevada proves that our technology is capable of meeting the needs of the major US parties, and the agility of our development team and API means we can pivot to explore new markets in a fraction of the time that larger organisations could.

“These first few sales in the US represent a big step forward in us asserting a presence there; and it’s a market we’re particularly excited about,” Finucane said.

US elections image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years