Textizen mobile platform bought by GovDelivery
The Textizen mobile platform for civic action has been acquired by GovDelivery, a provider of cloud-based digital communication solutions for government.
Used by Philadelphia, Boston and Salt Lake City, Textizen lets users send, receive and analyze text messages to promote citizen action, engagement and behavior change. The platform supports surveys, data collection, mapping, reminders, alerts and more. In addition to text messages, the platform can also accommodate picture messages, according to a blog by the Knight Foundation, which awarded Textizen a $350,000 grant.
As part of Code for America’s inaugural Incubator program, the Textizen team built and scaled a tool for cities and organizations to quickly and effectively conduct structured surveys and engage the public by text message. Textizen was then piloted within the Code for America fellowship program in Philadelphia before expanding to more government organizations.
In summer 2014, Textizen worked with Philadelphia RISE, the city’s reintegration services office, to use the company’s SMS engagement service to communicate with individuals who are on parole and/or re-entering society after being in prison. Chicago used Textizen to get resident feedback on a new public art plan, and Palo Alto launched a pilot program using a Textizen prompt on signs at construction sites, allowing passersby to learn more about and offer feedback on the project.
"This is the first acquisition of a company incubated by Code for America and a validation of both the desire by local governments to meet people where they are and the role of the civic technology movement in revitalizing the government ecosystem," said Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America's founder and executive director.
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