In a recent blog post, Chris Sacca – an early investor in Twitter, Uber, and Instagram – explained his commitment to investing in campaign technology. Although he’s focused on supporting Democrats, Sacca articulates one of the motivating principles of Startup Caucus:
“Our bet is that, over time, startups inventing new models and building scalable technology will have higher ROI than throwing money at Super PACs and consultants.”
“Political campaigns are like startups with a 100% burn rate. It doesn’t take a very experienced investor to tell you that if all your technology, data, and know-how are held in startups that burn out after a year or two, you’re never going to get very far.”
“So instead, we backed scalable, tech-driven platforms and organizations that helped thousands of campaigns in 2018, used what they learned to help thousands more campaigns in 2020, and that will continue to improve, cycle after cycle. In each case, we ask simple questions: For every additional dollar that goes in, are we getting more efficient at winning votes? Are we developing more effective ways to register people to vote? Are we increasing how many conversations volunteers have for every hour they spend canvassing? Are we running more persuasive ads?
Tech isn’t a panacea, but what Crystal and I knew from investing in startups is that as technology scales, it produces data that refines our understanding of which metrics matter. Over time, this drives dollars toward the tools and organizations that provide the greatest value. This helps campaigns make more informed decisions about whether to spend resources on tools like Mobilize and Reach, or on consultants and mail marketers.”