Gary Vaynerchuk Joins Politiscope’s Newest Tech Platform; New Age of Political Accountability Underway

Published on July 29, 2019

On Monday, mobile app, Politiscope brought aboard entrepreneur, author, and founder of Vayner Media, Gary Vaynerchuk to sit as an adviser and investor in guiding and managing acquisition efforts.

Founded in 2018 by former NFL athlete, Walter Powell, Politiscope is a mobile application that aggregates raw, unbiased information about U.S. elected officials and government policies. Its vision is to serve as an accessible, transparent tool that helps engage constituents throughout the political process via mobile technology by distributing clear, unbiased political information.

Powell is joined by M&A and Securities Attorney, Israel Lopez, political and history enthusiast, Jackson White, and Nim Desai, founder/CEO of Ten-Divide, Inc., which was acquired by EA Engineering.

Fake News…Be Gone

Politiscope’s vision has ultimately identified a huge problem in today’s political climate—a lack of trust in the country’s political process. With phenomena such as “fake news” which has unfortunately become a solid part of the American lexicon, mixed with divisive, emotionally-tinged partisanship on the rise, many Americans have become confused, overwhelmed, and therefore disempowered in terms of their ability and confidence to case an “informed” vote.

Through an engaged and informed electorate, Politiscope hopes to protect our nation’s democracy and political process as much as possible, allowing users to easily view politicians’ voting records, read user-friendly bill summaries, and review other non-partisan political information that people need in order to vote in an educated and informed manner.

In its announcement, Politiscope introduced a new technology platform, Downticket, which will add users and an additional revenue stream in the form of processing fees for individual political contributions to Politiscope’s existing data monetization efforts. That combined platform of both Politiscope/Downticket hopes to “significantly increase customer engagement and LTV, in addition to boosting user acquisition and partnerships ahead of the 2020 election year.”

Politiscope is continuing to leverage its relationships with professional athletes, celebrities, and influencers for its social media marketing campaign.

This couldn’t come at a better time as the biggest item on the political agenda is ensuring information is accurate, verifiable, and unfettered with allegations of misuse and manipulation. The applications developed by both organizations are complementary and when combined, will significantly extend a user’s ability to impact politics nationwide.

We are proud to exclusively announce this partnership as this only strengthens the notion that powerful brands such as Politiscope and Gary Vee can work together in democratizing intelligence and publicly available political information.

How It Works

In order to utilize the platform, users download the Politiscope app onto their mobile device and are prompted to create a personal profile. Once created, users can easily search for and view politicians’ voting records, read user-friendly bill summaries, and review other non-partisan political information that people need in order to make an informed, educated voting decision.

After contributing to candidates and tracking elections via Downticket’s functionality, users can then track and hold elected officials accountable via Politiscope’s content. Users moved, positively or negatively, by Politiscope content regarding legislation and elected officials’ positions can take action through Downticket’s functionality by contributing to desired candidate campaigns or their opponents’. The result will be delivery of a level of political empowerment that has historically only been available to large donors and special interests.

Beyond the obvious ways that the Downticket and Politiscope products complement each other, I’m particularly excited about the power Politiscope can bring to communities that have traditionally been difficult to reach,” Nim Desai, CEO of Downticket said in a statement to Grit Daily.

“As someone who has spent time working directly to activate younger voters, I think Walt and Jackson bring fresh voices and perspectives about the importance of staying informed and engaged politically that is relatable and very different from everything else out there.”

But what brought two companies which were heading in the same direction, but with different starting points together? Politiscope decided to combine resources and talent with Downticket in order to grab a stronghold on the market—a market that has substantially shifted after the 2016 presidential campaign, which left large ripples affecting pre-2016 campaign startups. Ideally, the merger serves to benefit the release of a product that is better suited for what the current political landscape resembles today, and what it is evolving into.

As a B2C mobile application with ad space and data revenue strategy, it’s important for us to figure out how we can generate revenue before we hit scale with our user base,” explained Walter Powell, co-founder of Politiscope.

“In merging with Downticket, it opens up the e-commerce play where we are taking a small percentage of all transactions through the application.”

How To Win and Influence People, Gary Vaynerchuk Style

Politiscope Executive Team in New York | (L): Brandon Williams, Jackson White, Walter Powell Jr., Israel Lopez (R)

In today’s digital age, the power of branding and “true” thought-leaders has led organizations such Politiscope, generating significant interest from notable technology and media venture capitalists like Vaynerchuk. Prior to launch, the company received $500K in the form of seed funding from a private investor to build its internal team and facilitate development of the app.

AJ Vaynerchuk, the chief operating officer and co-founder of VaynerMedia, has also signed on as an adviser to Politiscope, in addition to the company’s recent on-boarding of David Kumaran as an adviser.

Kumaran is a serial entrepreneur, startup exec and investor from San Francisco who is currently the Managing Partner at Tech Dojo, his seventh venture. Prior to that, Kumaran was on the leadership team at Handy, acquired by ANGI Homeservices, in addition to co-founding a number of startups that were acquired by Nextel and BP Solar.

What struck Kumaran about this tech is the ability for the platform to “connect citizens to policy makers and the process which brings collaboration and transparency back into politics.”

But what brought on Vaynerchuk and his venture?

Politiscope is the type of innovation that could actually make a meaningful impact on our society,” Vaynerchuk told us. “While there are many apps that provide entertainment and utility, Politiscope has the ability to shape the future of our country.”

From our understanding, these fundraising efforts have also resulted in securing a large and growing number of athletes to serve as “social media ambassadors and influencers” for the merged product, including, but not limited to: U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s, Hope Solo, the WNBA’s Essence Carson, and NFL’s Quincy Enunwa, the wide-receiver for the New York Jets.

Throughout the 2020 election season, it is only safe to assume that this newly merged entity will be raising additional capital to provide operational runway.

“We’ve been very fortunate to receive valuable contributions from an experienced group of early-stage investors, angels, and advisers including Unlock Venture Partners in Seattle, and we look forward to critical advice and support from Gary Vee as we enter the next phase of our development,” Powell concluded.

Andrew "Drew" Rossow is a former contract editor at Grit Daily.

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