Higher Ground Labs, the leading accelerator and venture fund for Democratic political technology, has invested in Community, an innovative text messaging platform that empowers campaigns, brands, nonprofits, and public figures to authentically connect with their supporters and customers at scale. As the Covid-19 pandemic escalated our collective sense of loneliness and accelerated our shift to digital forums, Community meets this moment with a novel solution.
Since its inception in 2019, Community has sent 6 billion total text messages with an average open rate of 95% within the first 5 minutes (as compared to 15% on email), and a 45% engagement rate. Community is trusted by high profile public figures like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Stacey Abrams, Kerry Washington, Ashton Kutcher, Katie Couric and entities such as When We All Vote, CNN, The Pittsburgh Penguins, The Liberal Party of Canada, Sports Illustrated, among thousands of other notable brands and individuals.
Community’s platform gives individuals, brands and organizations (which the company refers to as “Leaders”) the opportunity to open a direct and ongoing line of communication with their audiences (“Members”), generating the familiar experience of texting with a friend. Community differentiates itself from other texting platforms by enabling Leaders to build longer-term relationships with supporters over text that are far less focused on transactional, one-way asks. In turn, conversations feel more like the kind of engaging discourse one might see on social media platforms as opposed to the rigid, impersonal feel of spam emails.
By acquiring and sharing a consistent, unique 10-digit phone number, Leaders can engage and grow their supporter base by having 1-1 or 1-many text conversations while texting from the same name and phone number every time. To sign-up, supporters simply need to text someone’s Community number.
Community also offers a suite of intelligence, commerce, and analytics tools to improve a Leader’s line of sight into their network. Community’s platform provides suggested messages, displays trending responses, tags responses in real-time, and groups audience insights into addressable market segments. The platform also integrates directly with ActBlue, Shopify and Salesforce, among other CRMs. Community’s clean interface and powerful response management tools provide Leaders with a comprehensive mechanism for substantive and sustained supporter engagement.
“Community provides an effective supporter engagement tool that can help campaigns with facilitating personalized conversations at scale, list building, information sharing and more,” said Betsy Hoover, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Higher Ground Labs. “We are thrilled to partner with Community to help stakeholders build and maintain stronger mission-aligned communities online.”
“We are thrilled to have the support of Higher Ground Labs and to be joining their portfolio,” said Diankha Linear, President of Community. “The work HGL has done to find and fund the best technology tools in the political sector is making a meaningful difference in our nation’s civic engagement. Community’s technology was built to be the most effective solution for people, brands and organizations to communicate with their supporters, and we look forward to being a part of HGL’s efforts to help transform and positively impact politics & government.”
Higher Ground Labs has invested in over 60 political technology startups and deployed over $50 million across three funds since 2017.