Socrata announces Jai Das to Board along with closing $30m Series C financing round led by Sapphire Ventures

– USA, WA – Socrata, the world leader in cloud solutions for open data and data-driven government, today announced that it has closed a $30 million Series C round of financing led by Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures), with participation from all existing investors – OpenView Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures and Frazier Technology Partners.

Socrata has more than 200 of the most innovative, top-tier public-sector customers around the world, including the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Eindhoven; the states of New York, Illinois, Maryland and Texas; U.S. Health and Human Services; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the United Nations, the European Commission and the World Bank.

The Series C financing will allow Socrata to bring data-driven government to thousands more public-sector organizations, big and small, across the globe.

Socrata’s recently released 2014 Open Data Benchmark Report reinforced the company’s major market opportunity, with 80% of respondents saying that their investment and spending on open data initiatives will be consistent or increase in the next six months.

An Experienced and Expanded Board of Directors

With this Series C round of financing, which brings Socrata’s total funding to date to $55 million, Sapphire Ventures’ managing director Jai Das will join Socrata’s Board of Directors. The Board also includes: Scott Maxwell, senior managing director and founder of OpenView Venture Partners; Scott Darling, president of EMC’s Corporate Development & Venture Capital; Susan Carstensen, a longtime leader and visionary for successful SaaS companies; Robert Runge, a veteran technology strategist and marketer; and Socrata Founder and CEO Kevin Merritt.

“Our suite of easy-to-use, fast-to-implement and cost-effective cloud-based products, anchored by our industry-leading open data platform, powers data-driven breakthroughs for governments throughout the world,” says Socrata CEO Kevin Merritt. “And the future is extremely bright, because open data adoption and usage is exploding at all levels of government globally. Open data has become mainstream, and this viral movement is unstoppable and the lifeblood of connected global networks.”

“Our goal,” says Socrata Board member Robert Runge, “is to help governments use one of the most valuable and new natural resources – open data – to drive outcomes and impact with their constituents. Ultimately, fact-based and data-driven government will become the fundamental basis for all critical and strategic decisions made in the public sector everywhere.”

Adds Jai Das of Sapphire Ventures, “Sapphire Ventures seeks to help innovative expansion-stage technology companies scale to become global category-defining leaders. We’re thrilled to lead this investment in Socrata as we believe the public sector is ripe for, and in desperate need of, massive disruption. Socrata’s cloud-based, open data solutions are ushering in a transformative era of data-driven and transparent government around the world. The company has created products and solutions that governments – from the local to federal levels – use at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems to run better and be more open to their constituents and citizens.”

Connecting Communities All Over the World

Socrata is unleashing the full potential of government data with its recently launched Open Data Network (ODN), which will help drive sustained prosperity in connected communities all over the world. Bringing together a vast and interwoven ecosystem of participants – governments that are open data publishers and consumers; businesses that incorporate and use government data; citizens; and civic developers and entrepreneurs who use open data to build service delivery apps – the Open Data Network will encompass 25-30 industries, each with its own unique and valuable dataset.

“When it comes to building and delivering software, Socrata is a new-style 21st century company that deploys open data to provide data-driven opportunities for virtually every government around the world,” says Merritt. “We believe that we’re helping government become an innovation accelerator, not just a service dispensary. This is a tremendously significant change that will improve the quality of life for people.”

Next-Generation Cloud Technology

Looking to the future, Socrata continues to invest heavily in its cloud-based technology. “Our business mission is hugely informed by the fact that virtually every significant technology company – including Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon – has based its cloud computing center of excellence in Seattle,” explains Merritt. “One of the reasons that we’re able to offer the public sector state-of-the-art cloud-based open data technology that leads to data-driven decision-making is because we’re based in Seattle.”
In addition to next-generation cloud technology, the key factors that will propel the open data revolution going forward, according to Merritt, will be continued investment; making as much open data available as possible; expanding interaction between governments and their many stakeholders; increasing support from government leaders; and, of course, deep and abiding trust from citizens.

About Socrata

Socrata is the world leader in cloud solutions for open data and data-driven governments. Its innovative customers include the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Eindhoven; the states of New York, Illinois and Texas; US Health and Human Services; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the United Nations and the World Bank. Socrata’s solutions – including the recently launched Open Data Network™ which unleashes the full potential of government data to help drive connected communities around the world – assist government leaders in improving transparency, modernizing citizen access to information and bringing data into every decision, all with unprecedented speed and cost savings. Delivered as turnkey services, Socrata’s technologies unlock data trapped in enterprise silos, mobilize and transform it into useful information that everyone can easily access, visualize, share and reuse.

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