Our Investment in CurateTurning municipal meeting minutes into actionable business insights
Wavemaker Partners is excited to announce our investment in Curate’s Seed round – our first investment in Wisconsin. Curate, which provides actionable market intelligence for its customers by aggregating and parsing municipal meeting minutes and agendas, will use the funds to expand its product to cover all 50 states and grow its team.
The Market: Historically, governments have been slow adopters of technology, with individual municipalities being some of the slowest to modernize. Today, however, over 80% of municipalities have a website and regularly publish agendas and post-meeting minutes. The majority of the remaining 20% publish information on county websites instead of their own. Municipal meeting minutes are a rich source of information such as rezonings, public works projects and public ordinance changes. The insights from these municipal meetings are often useful to a wide variety of businesses, including contractors, engineering firms, and lobbying associations.
The Problem: Across the United States there are over 89,000 municipalities that play crucial roles in governing and managing communities nationwide. Municipalities recognize the challenge of public attendance, and use tools like live broadcasts and meeting minutes to involve their constituents. However, municipal meetings are often long and drawn out and create meeting minutes ranging from 10-100 pages. To parse through these documents, businesses usually rely on a patchwork of manual processes to mine through minutes to extract relevant data, which represents a significant time and labor cost.
Curate’s Solution: Curate has identified a major opportunity to bridge the information gap between governments and businesses by creating a two-pronged SaaS tool that extracts actionable market insights for businesses from municipal meeting documentation. The first prong, CurateBuild, provides intelligence from all municipalities within a one hour radius of a customer’s office. CurateBuild is designed for general contractors, engineering firms, banks, lenders and architects who typically engage in hyperlocal work. The second prong, CurateLocal, is a state-level product and covers all municipalities in the state. CurateLocal is designed for government affairs departments of corporations and lobbying associations. Through both products, Curate customers have access to a dedicated web app that allows them to personalize the terms/topics they would like to scan for in meeting minutes. These insights can then be conveniently accessed either through the web app or through weekly reports sent via email. Today, Curate covers all municipalities across 22 US states, and expects to roll out their product suite to all 50 states by the end of the year.
Our Take: The unique insights within municipal meeting minutes contain heaps of useful information for several companies. These insights were extremely difficult to obtain in a scalable way prior to the advent of Curate. Additionally, the idea of extracting actionable market intelligence from municipal meeting minutes is a vastly unexplored one, with significant revenue potential from various businesses. In addition to the initially identified customers, i.e. contractors, engineering firms, etc., we have a strong conviction that there are several future markets where Curate’s insights can be extremely valuable (e.g. REITs, banks, lenders, hedge funds, etc.). Curate’s team is also uniquely positioned to build this business thanks to their experience facing these challenges first-hand. CEO Taralinda Willis was previously the project manager for a new student union facility at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was directly exposed to the challenges in dealing with local municipalities and keeping new buildings compliant and up-to-date with local ordinances. We’re excited by the journey ahead for Curate as they use this round of funding to continue their rapid growth.
Welcome to the Wavemaker portfolio, Curate!