Civic engagement startup Brigade announced on Monday that it has brought on board Hunter Scarborough, the cofounder and chief executive of Voter, a political matchmaking startup. The move was done as an acqui-hire, but Brigade hasn’t purchased Scarborough’s company or assets, but there are plans to shutter it later this year. Scarborough will work on the product team to create tools that’ll enable citizens to become more active in local and state elections.
Founded in 2015, Voter sought to help people figure out which politician synced with their values and beliefs just by answering a few questions. It looked at the politician’s voting record, public agenda, personal views, talking points, and other data points to arrive at its conclusion. Along with Scarborough, Voter counted Suneil Nyamathi as a cofounder, who it seems worked on the company part-time while maintaining his position as a software engineer at Yahoo.
According to Axios, Voter raised a small round of funding, but when it came time to pursue additional investment or acquisition, Scarborough opted to work for a “bigger and established company.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining an such a talented and experienced team tackling some the same problems we were at Voter. We’ll be sunsetting Voter in 2017, but its spirit and mission will live on at Brigade,” Scarborough said in a statement.
With the American political climate in the state that it’s in, some voters may turn to technology to make sense of where things are headed and get a grasp of Donald Trump’s administration. The rise of civic activism is an effort to boost education so people know what’s worth fighting for and what the real issues are. And now that the national election is over, the effort looks towards the local and state levels, where those matters affect people perhaps the most. Brigade, which has made a name for itself helping keep people educated around issues that matter, hopes to improve on its service with the thinking Scarborough brings to the table.
As the U.S. turns its focus to the 2018 mid-term elections and associated political events, it’s worth watching to see how technology improves our understanding of affairs not only in our community, but on a national level. For Brigade, it previously tested a ballot guide which showed voters personalized recommendations and which ballot issues were endorsed by candidates. What does it have planned next to keep voters educated?
Voter will be shut down later this year, but Brigade and Scarborough didn’t provide further details.
This is not the only hire that Brigade has made. The company also brought on board former Expedia director Trish Gray as its senior director of engineering.
Updated as of 8:35 p.m. Pacific on Monday: Clarified that the deal was an acqui-hire and Voters’ assets were not transferred to Brigade.