Derry polling tech firm Modern Democracy nets funding to expand

30 Aug 2022

Brian Reid, chairperson of Modern Democracy and HBAN member; Siobhan Donaghy, chief executive at Modern Democracy; and Ann-Marie Slavin, director of strategy at Modern Democracy. Image: Modern Democracy

Modern Democracy makes software to streamline the polling process and its tech has been used by local authorities in the UK.

Derry-headquartered election software company Modern Democracy has secured a £700,000 investment to grow its presence in the UK and international markets.

The funding round was led by local business angel investors, including members of the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN). This network is a joint initiative of Invest NI, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland.

The investments from HBAN were matched by Co-Fund NI. This is part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance suite of funds and is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers.

Existing shareholder Capital Crescent also gave Modern Democracy its vote of confidence with further backing.

The SaaS company said it intends to go out to the market to raise a further £1.3m in funding for its next phase of expansion.

Modern Democracy’s software aims to streamline the polling process. Its tech has been used by local authorities throughout the UK.

In May of this year, the Welsh government picked Modern Democracy to deliver its flexible voting pilots. The purpose of the pilots was to make it easier for people to vote by offering flexibility on when and where they could vote.

Modern Democracy’s software initially focused on the front-end voter and polling staff experience by digitalising the check-in process. It has since added new features including real-time reporting and analytics on election day performance. This feature can be deployed for election managers and returning officers working in polling stations.

Ann-Marie Slavin, director of strategy at Modern Democracy, said that “the demand for digital transformation at polling stations is increasing”. This, she said, is due to governmental changes as well as the pandemic.

“There is high potential for growth in the sector. We aim to use this investment to strengthen our market share in the UK, expand our team and move into new global markets,” Slavin added.

Jim Curran, investment director at Clarendon Fund Managers, said Modern Democracy is “perfectly positioned with a scalable business model and huge potential for rapid growth in the UK and beyond”.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.