Government Transparency Startup Raises $2.25M in Seed Funding

by Chris Bullock

Seed Round to Fuel Sales Growth, New Product Development and Client Services Expansion

Maynard, MA (5/31/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced it has raised an additional $2.25M through a second seed round of financing bringing the total raised to $3.75M.  The oversubscribed round was lead by new investments from Launch Capital, Riverpark Ventures and Hub Angels, along with current investors Kepha Partners and MassVentures both increasing their stake in ClearGov.

“We are thrilled by the support we’ve had from our initial investors and excited to bring new investors onto the ClearGov team as well,” said Bryan Burdick, President of ClearGov.  “The response that we’ve had from the market has been tremendous, so we are ready to put this additional capital to work to scale our team and continue our mission to help local governments be more efficient and effective.”

ClearGov provides local governments and school districts with an online platform to better communicate complex financials in an easy-to-understand, infographic format.  The platform is now used by more than 400 municipalities across 16 states to drive trust and support through enhanced transparency. ClearGov also provides tools to help municipalities compare financial performance against similar communities to better inform budgetary decisions.

Following 400+% YoY growth in 2017, ClearGov will use the funding to fuel sales team and client services growth, as well as expand the executive leadership team.  The funding will also be used to bring key new products to market over the next twelve months.

“The public is increasingly demanding accountability and transparency from our government agencies, so we feel that ClearGov is offering an incredibly timely solution,” said Eric Hjerpe of Kepha Partners.  “We were impressed with traction the team was able to generate after the first seed round and are excited to continue to support their growth and product expansion.”

As part of the latest round, ClearGov has also named Bill McCullen of Launch Capital to its Board of Directors.

“ClearGov’s mission to help government leaders make better, data-driven decisions is powerful,” said Bill McCullen of Launch Capital.  “With their innovative market approach and proven team we believe that ClearGov can have a significant impact on how local governments engage and serve their constituents.”

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

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ClearGov Launches Artificial Intelligence Platform to Compare Local Government Finances

by Chris Bullock

Machine Learning Automatically Standardizes Municipal Accounting to Enable Peer-to-Peer Benchmarking

Maynard, MA (5/8/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, today announced an artificial intelligence platform to more accurately and automatically compare finances across municipalities.  The new technology helps local governments benchmark spending and funding across a state and national standardized chart of accounts developed by ClearGov.

“Municipalities and school districts will often look to compare finances against similar agencies as a way to identify opportunities to be more efficient with taxpayer dollars. Yet the task of benchmarking municipal finances is made difficult by the lack of a standardized accounting structure across municipalities,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “For example, one town may categorize an expenditure such as ‘Maintenance of Town Hall’ as a function of Public Works, whereas another town may categorize the same spending under Parks & Recreation.  Without a standardized accounting structure, comparing municipal finances is a challenging, if not futile exercise.”

In response to this problem, ClearGov has developed an artificial intelligence platform that can ingest government agencies’ raw accounting data and automatically translate it into a standardized chart of accounts.  The platform analyzes many elements of the accounting data, including accounting ID structures and line-item keywords, to accurately restructure the data.  By automatically placing similar accounting line items in like categories, the system produces truer “apples to apples” financial comparisons across municipalities.

Government clients of ClearGov’s Insights platform can utilize this standardized accounting structure in a series of custom benchmarking and analytical tools. For example, the platform can inform a town how its spending on “Snow & Ice Removal” compares to other towns with similar road miles in a given proximity.  The peer-to-peer comparisons are also utilized in a public-facing transparency profile to provide context that help bring a town’s financials to life for everyone in the community.

“We believe benchmarking our budget against other towns is important because it allows us to better understand and communicate our own spending in context, but this has been near impossible since every town categorizes their spending differently,” said John Frye, Financial Services Director of the Village of Pinehurst, NC.  “ClearGov’s standardized municipal financial database and budget comparison tools have afforded us a viable means to benchmark our finances against relevant communities”

ClearGov’s new artificial intelligence platform also dramatically reduces the time needed to onboard new clients’ data on to its transparency and benchmarking platform.  A process that was measured in days now takes minutes to analyze and categorize new clients’ data allowing clients to get up and running quickly.

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

 

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

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ClearGov and Virtual Towns & Schools Announce Strategic Partnership

by Jena Skivington

Virtual Towns & Schools to Offer Fiscal Transparency Module Powered by ClearGov

Maynard, MA (3/21/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today a strategic partnership with Virtual Towns & Schools (VTS), a leading municipal website provider.  The partnership will enable VTS clients to embed fiscal transparency profiles seamlessly within their municipal websites to offer residents more accessible and digestible budgetary figures.

“Fiscal transparency is top of mind for towns and school districts, but communicating complex financials to residents is a challenge,” said Millard Rose, President of VTS. “ClearGov has created a turnkey plug-in for our clients that communicates their budget in a simple, digital format that everyone can understand.”

ClearGov specializes in transforming government-sourced financial and demographic data into easy-to-understand infographic profiles.  Hundreds of local government agencies leverage the ClearGov platform to increase transparency and gain financial insights through the company’s sophisticated municipal benchmarking tools.

As part of the partnership agreement, ClearGov has created financial transparency dashboards that can be embedded in VTS clients’ websites.  The Town of North Attleborough, MA is the first municipality to integrate a “Fiscal Transparency Center” powered by ClearGov on its VTS website, which can be explored here.

Additionally, VTS clients that claim their ClearGov profile will have access to expanded features, including additional demographic metrics and tax bill customization.

“Virtual Towns & Schools has established itself as the leading provider of turnkey government websites in the Northeast,” said Bryan Burdick, President of ClearGov. “We are excited to partner with VTS to help our mutual customers more effectively engage with their citizens and drive community support.”

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.  To explore Virtual Towns & Schools services visit https://www.vt-s.net.

 

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

About Virtual Towns & Schools

Virtual Towns & Schools’ websites support 600+ clients with a wide variety of populations and needs – including special districts and agencies.  2017 was VTS’s 7th straight year of record new contract growth and it’s award winning Drupal based CMS provides an extensive list of features and responsive design.

PRESS CONTACTS:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

 

Millard Rose

978.461.5848

mrose@vt-s.net

ClearGov Recognized Among New England’s Top Innovators

by Chris Bullock

We are excited to announce that ClearGov has been nominated for the 2018 New England Innovation Awards.  Established in 1986 by the New England Business Association, the Innovation Awards recognize those companies that have transformed their innovative ideas into a product or service that delivers proven value to customers.  The Program has recognized almost 200 companies from a wide variety of companies in fields such as technology, manufacturing, service, non-profit, and retail/distribution.

“ClearGov prides itself on providing innovative solutions that help local government agencies better leverage data to become more effective and efficient,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “So, we are especially honored to be chosen for consideration for this prestigious award.”

The New England Business Association has selected 200 local companies for consideration and will be announcing 20 finalists on mid-April.  The 20 Finalists will each have 3 minutes to present to the entire group of judges, our Partners, our Board members, and other invited guests.  The Gala Awards Presentation and Dinner will be held in early May where the winners will be announced at a formal dinner presentation.

 

ClearGov hits the GovTech 100 list for the third consecutive year

by Jena Skivington

Each year, GovTech Magazine compiles a list of the most innovative and influential companies focused on serving governments. ClearGov is proud to be hitting that list for the third consecutive year, alongside many successful and innovative leaders in the space.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by GovTech again this year,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov. “The gov tech industry is evolving and we are honored to be acknowledged alongside these leaders in our space.  We couldn’t be more excited about the year to come and some exciting new announcements for ClearGov, including our recent partnership with former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who joined our board this month.”

The GovTech100 feature article highlighted the industry’s rapid growth as an established market segment with massive potential for investors and entrepreneurs, especially within software. Companies have changed the way data is used and stored, how quickly tasks are accomplished in the day to day, and how efficiently a government can run its operations. It’s an exciting time in gov tech, and it’s only the beginning. Click here for the full article.

Click here to see the full list of GovTech 100 companies.

Martin O’Malley Joins ClearGov Board of Directors

by Chris Bullock

Government Performance Pioneer to Support ClearGov’s Rapid Growth

Hopkinton, MA (1/9/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today that former Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley, has been elected to ClearGov’s board of directors.

O’Malley served as Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015 and previously served as Mayor of Baltimore for eight years.  O’Malley is widely recognized for his innovative approach to data-driven governing and has earned a reputation for pragmatic and effective governance via analytics.

“Governor O’Malley is a true pioneer in data-driven governance,” said Chris Bullock, ClearGov’s CEO and Chairman. “We believe his extensive experience in implementing performance management and analytics in government will be instrumental as ClearGov continues to expand rapidly across the country.”

Utilizing publicly available data, ClearGov has built nearly 40,000 infographic profiles of local governments and school districts.  Hundreds of local government agencies leverage the ClearGov platform to increase transparency and gather financial insights through the company’s sophisticated municipal benchmarking tools.

“A data-driven approach to governing has become the norm in large cities,” said Gov. O’Malley.  “ClearGov represents a powerful platform for tens of thousands of small and mid-size communities to take advantage of the latest technologies to improve government decision-making and drive transparency with a turnkey solution and minimal investment.”

“We targeted an independent director that would bring relevant and extensive government experience to the ClearGov team, and Governor O’Malley was at the top of our list,” said Bryan Burdick, ClearGov’s President.  “He is a proven leader at both the municipal and state level and we look forward to leveraging his real-world insights.”

O’Malley graduated from Catholic University, and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Maryland in 1988. That same year, he was appointed as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the City of Baltimore. Driven by the epidemic of crime, drugs, and poverty that he witnessed as a lawyer, O’Malley ran for Baltimore City Council at the age of 28, where he served for eight years.

In 1999, O’Malley was elected Mayor of Baltimore where he implemented a performance management and mapping program called CitiStat, which achieved tremendous success in improving the responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency of the City’s operations.  The program is credited with saving the city $100 million through analytics-based service delivery and achieving the largest ten year crime reduction of any major city in America.  These accomplishments earned O’Malley Time Magazine’s distinction of “one of America’s top five big city mayors.”

In 2007 O’Malley was elected Governor of Maryland and brought his analytical prowess to the state house by establishing StateStat.  The widely-acclaimed program measurably improved the performance of government workers, improved water quality and deterred crime.  Under O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland’s school system became the top public school system in America for five years and the US Chamber of Commerce ranked Maryland the best state for innovation and entrepreneurship for three years in a row.  Dozens of cities and states across the country have since adopted similar programs.

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.

 

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour on ClearGov

by Jena Skivington

ClearGov on Bloomberg Radio

ClearGov founder and CEO Chris Bullock spoke about the origins of the company and its growth as a provider of transparency tools for governments during a segment of The Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour with anchors Tom Moroney and Peter Barnes.

Check out the full segment here (minutes 22-29): The Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour

Bullock explained how his frustration over the lack of clarity in his town’s annual report provided the impetus to create tools that enable local governments and school districts to share where their local revenues come from and how they are spent. In the past two years since Bullock started shedding light on local government finances, ClearGov has translated publicly available data into easy-to-understand infographics for every city and town in the country (more than 36,000 government profiles).

Hundreds of local governments and school districts are now leveraging ClearGov’s platform to share details on vendor payments to residents and to help them analyze how their spending on specific services compares to surrounding communities.

In an era of growing skepticism about government, Bullock said ClearGov offers officials an important opportunity to be totally transparent with residents about tax and spending decisions and to help build community support.

ClearGov Introduces State and Local Government Rankings

by Chris Bullock

Easy to understand rankings provide context on demographic, tax, spending, and educational performance categories

State Government RankingsHopkinton, MA (10/2/17) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, has expanded its platform to include financial performance rankings of over 36,000 municipalities.  The company has also introduced state government fiscal analyses, which benchmarks state budgets.

The newly introduced rankings are built upon the breadth and scope of the ClearGov Insights™ national database, the world’s most comprehensive collection of government finances.  

ClearGov now offers per capita rankings for hundreds of categories including taxes, total revenue and spending on education public safety and employee benefits among other categories. The rankings, which can be filtered by county and population, also provide insight into demographic categories such as population growth, median home value and household income. In select states,  ClearGov also offers testing performance, per pupil spending and teacher salary rankings on local school districts.

ClearGov’s new state budget analyses not only provide taxpayers with a straightforward view of where states derive funding and spend tax dollars, but also benchmarks every budget category against contiguous states.  

“Our goal has always been to transform complex data into actionable intelligence,” said Chris Bullock, CEO and Founder of ClearGov. “It is our hope that our new state and local government rankings and analyses provide yet another opportunity for research and sharing of best practices across governments.”

Over the past two years ClearGov has gathered financial detail on nearly every city, town and village across the United States to create the world’s most comprehensive municipal financial database. The ClearGov Insights™ database now includes over $2.5 trillion in government spending across hundreds of budget categories.  Hundreds of towns, cities, villages and school districts leverage the ClearGov Insights™ platform to operate more effectively and efficiently.

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms civic and school district financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

ClearGov Launches Branded Transparency Portals

by Chris Bullock

ClearGov announced today a new feature that allows clients to easily create a branded transparency portal.   Local governments now have the option to add a community photo and seal at the top, all while still utilizing ClearGov’s infographic dashboards for financial and demographic analyses.  The custom-branded portal is made available via a private sub-domain of the ClearGov site.

The Village of Pinehurst, NC, is the first ClearGov customer to take advantage of the new branded transparency portal feature.   Check it out via the link below!

View Pinehurst, NC transparency portal here

ClearGov Ranks 7 on ELGL’s Top 50 Companies Working With Local Governments

by Chris Bullock

ClearGov topped the list at number 7 for the Haverford Choice awards from ELGL’s top 50 companies working with local governments.

The ClearGov Insights™ platform allows local governments to easily communicate their budgets to residents, and compare that information against similar peer communities.

“We are really excited to be in the top 10, alongside some really impressive organizations for the Haverford Choice awards,” says Chris Bullock, founder and CEO of ClearGov. “We love what ELGL has been doing to connect and educate the industry, and feel honored to be a recipient of this award.”

ELGL mentions their criteria for the award on their site: “The ELGL Evaluation Team used three criteria in selecting and ranking the top 50 companies: number of nominations received by each company (50%), comments submitted on each company (25%), and input from ELGL Evaluation Team (25%).”

Check out your local government’s transparency page here: www.cleargov.com.