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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civis Analytics, a startup that could be key to next fall's Democratic Party campaigns, has raised $30.7 million in new funding, Axios has learned.

Behind the scenes: The Chicago-based startup was founded by Dan Wagner, who led analytics for the Obama 2012 campaign, and was used by the Biden 2020 campaign to test audience messaging and to determine where to deploy advertising. Its first outside investor was former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

  • "Every organization, whether a government organization or a company, needs a data-driven campaign," argues Wagner, whose Obama team used analytics to determine everything from multi-million dollar marketing campaigns to where to land the campaign plane.
  • Municipal customers include Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, while federal government customers include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Corporate users include Discovery.
  • Wagner says that political campaigns are now a minority of his company's business, although he acknowledges that may fluctuate next fall. He adds that Civis doesn't work with Republican candidates.

The biggest opportunity for Civis seems to be in expanding its federal client roster, as it's working toward certification for the FedRAMP procurement platform. If successful, it would be able to better compete with companies like Microsoft, Palantir and Oracle.

  • The new funding is to get ahead of that certification.
  • Investors include Schmidt, Alumni Ventures, Drive Capital, Verizon Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

Go deeper

Obama: Del Rio migrant crisis is "reminder that we don't have this right"

Former President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally with Joe Biden on Oct. 31, 2020, in Detroit, Mich. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" called the migrant crisis at the border in Del Rio, Texas, "heartbreaking" and a "painful reminder that we don't have this right yet."

Driving the news: Obama told Robin Roberts that comprehensive immigration reform is needed to fix "a system that, overall, is dysfunctional," ABC News reports.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.

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