Data Visualization

Andreessen Horowitz leads $15 million funding round for OpenGov

man studying data

OpenGov, a financial data visualization startup that helps governments show how they are spending their money, is getting a $15 million investment as it looks to expand into the federal market.

The investment, led by the Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, is a series b funding round and includes funds from Formation 8, a venture capital firm that has already invested in OpenGov. A 2013 funding round yielded $7 million. The company did not disclose the ownership stakes of its investment partners.

Though the company name might suggest otherwise, OpenGov is not an open-data play. The company contracts directly with cities, counties, and state agencies to take data generated by their internal accounting systems and host it on their cloud-based enterprise visualization software system. OpenGov offers an online platform for sharing financial data visualizations both inside government offices and publicly. 

Recently, for example, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti used the OpenGov platform to demo plans for the proposed fiscal 2015 city budget at a press conference. Clients have the option to open their data to the public or keep it private for internal use. For a smaller governments, the service can cost as little as $10,000 a year, and take just a few weeks and the exchange of a few spreadsheets to set up.

Co-founder and CEO Zac Bookman said that the company has signed up 100 governments in 14 months and sees new territory at the federal level.

"We think the federal space is in great need of this type of tool," Bookman told FCW. Large, federated sprawling agencies can lack the ability to supply cabinet-level officials and congressional oversight bodies with deep understanding of how money is being spent. Members of Congress, Bookman said, "sometimes have to beg senior executives for data. It's a perverse relationship -- they're supposed to be governing, but they're boxed out."

The OpenGov solution can potentially help agencies that want to engage in visually driven data analytics about their spending, but aren't about to invest in a full scale modernization. "When you have a code base that is 30 years old, what do you do?" Bookman asked. "We think of OpenGov as next generation, lightweight, enterprise grade software as a service that allows even the smallest government to get web-based business intelligence."

The company has 25 employees and is adding six new staffers in the coming weeks. There are no plans to open a Washington, D.C., office, but OpenGov has several political veterans on its board of advisors, including former Secretary of State George Shultz and former North Dakota Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.

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Reader comments

Fri, May 16, 2014 Owen Ambur Hilton Head Island, SC

The OpenGov Platform's goals are now available in open, standard, machine-readable StratML format at As Dan Mintz said at the Data Transparency Summit, it will be necessary for vendors to make it easy for .gov agencies to do what is required. It is only a matter of time before enlightened vendors like The OpenGov Platform leverage open data standards like StratML to make it easy for agencies to link (strategically align) their budgets and spending to their strategic goals and performance objectives.

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