FiscalNote, a startup that helps businesses stay up-to-date with state and local legislation, is announcing that it has raised $1.2 million in seed funding from investor Mark Cuban, New Enterprise Associates, and First Round Capital's Dorm Room Fund.
When co-founder and CEO Tim Hwang introduced me to the company a couple of months ago, he told me that many businesses are affected by this legislation, but they'd need a large staff (in his words, “different interns hitting refresh on all 50 states”) to actually keep track of it. With FiscalNote, on the other hand, they can go to one site that aggregates all of the legislative data posted to public sources.
In addition, FiscalNote is developing something it calls its PoliticalGenome Project, which looks at the language of a given bill and at the history of the legislators who will be voting of it, then makes a prediction of that bill's success. Hwang said that one of his main goals with the new funding is “really boosting the algorithm” and expanding the nine-person startup's machine learning and natural language processing team. In addition, Hwang wants to expand beyond legislation to include other industries and other geographies.
FiscalNote is currently conducting a closed beta test with a group of customers that it says includes legal and marketing departments within Fortune 500 companies, national advocacy groups, and financial institutions.
Hwang previously served as president of the 750,000-member youth lobbying group called the National Youth Association, while his co-founders Jonathan C. Chen (CTO) and Gerald Yao (CFO) worked at Bloomberg and the National Institutes of Health, respectively. The company's advisory board already includes Chris Lu, former White House Cabinet Secretary for Barack Obama, and Youngsuk “Y.S.” Chi, chairman of publishing company Elsevier, and it recently added LegalZoom CEO John Suh.