Tech IPOs take a break

The pandemic and the protests have accelerated a boom in online political advocacy. With PR “evolving at the speed of Twitter” and a “new citizen rising,” companies are increasingly deploying their messaging and lobbying efforts internally and online, said Jeb Ory, CEO of the company. Public affairs platform Phone2Action, at DealBook.

Phone2Action acquired the KnowWho government directory, Mr. Ory revealed to us. (Terms of the deal were not disclosed.) It follows its acquisition last month of issue monitoring platform GovPredict. These agreements combine advocacy software with a database of officials and policy monitoring tools. “It was a different world” in 2012 when her co-founder, Dr Ximena Hartsock, proposed to create software to connect lawyers and lawmakers, but within a few years “disruptive” tech companies started using the tool – Airbnb, Lyft, and Uber are all customers.

  • Phil Minardi, public affairs manager at Expedia, said the company got involved in ‘hyperlocal’ digital advocacy when it acquired the vacation rental business HomeAway, and uses Phone2Action to ‘deliver real stories’ to officials before they draft new regulations.

Lobbying is “greatly misunderstood”, said Bruce Brownson, founder of KnowWho (and son of a former congressman who started a congressional directory in the 1960s). Some consider the $ 3 billion per year industry a corrupting influence, but lawmakers have always looked for ways to elicit the views of voters. The effects of this demand can be seen in other recent agreements, such as the government intelligence dashboard FiscalNote raise $ 160 million.

The final debate in our DealBook DC Policy Project series focuses on the outlook for environmental rules and regulations under a new administration. We have assembled a panel of experts from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, moderated by Coral Davenport of The Times.

Rostin Behnam, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said that “climate change poses a major risk to the stability of the US financial system”, but the potential solutions also include “really exciting” investment opportunities. Panelists from companies explained how they are reorganizing their operations, with and without government assistance, including Chris Adamo from Danone, Lucas Joppé from Microsoft, Kathleen mclaughlin from Walmart and Ariel Meyerstein from Citi.

Catherine Coleman Flowers the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice and Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise movement highlighted the importance of climate policy for historically disadvantaged communities and young people. And Rajiv shah, Chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, said he expects renewed global cooperation on climate policy when Joe Biden takes office, “coupled with the leadership of large corporations and large financial institutions.”

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