Government relations data startup GovConnex raises $1 million as it looks to UK and NZ markets

- October 18, 2021 2 MIN READ
Cooper Darling-Blair
GovConnex founder and CEO Cooper Darling-Blair
GovConnex, a political intelligence and relationship management platform, has raised $1 million in a round led by local VC Black Nova.

The funds will be used to scales platform to organise all of Australia’s government data amid plans to expand internationally by the end of 2021. 

The GovConnex platform, which launched in 2019, captures information from a variety of government sources including press releases, social media and parliamentary records, organising it for clients for research, intelligence and relationship management. It also has workflow tools such as stakeholder list builder and a CRM platform to log and report engagement activity. 

Founder and CEO Cooper Darling-Blair said public affairs professionals are often bombarded with different sources of government information, which can take time and effort to collate before they can act. 

“There is a huge shift for public affairs teams to shift from network and experience-based decision making models to ones that integrate the use of data and artificial intelligence to navigate dynamic, complex political environments,” he said. 

“The GovConnex solution empowers government affairs professionals to make better business decisions quickly with real-time information right at their fingertips. Our ability to present traditionally disconnected information into meaningful insights gives our customers a significant edge.” 

Darling-Blair said company boards and senior execs are finding it difficult to understand how their government relations team is performing, and are seeking clarity.

“Being able to understand changes in regulations, make more informed decisions and even connect with key stakeholders in a more sustainable and effective way is crucial in today’s fast-paced environment, which can have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line,” he said. 


International plans

The CEO said they’re now looking to expand the platform to government relations in overseas markets.

“This move is the first of many on GovConnex trajectory with our goal of being the leading source of government information pushing us to think globally,” Darling-Blair said.

“We’re already seeing huge adoption here and we want to double down on that and expand globally, starting with New Zealand and the UK later this year.”

Black Nova managing partner Matt Browne said GovConnex is a pioneering solution in the government relations space.

“GovConnex is both disruptive and transformative to the government relations industry, the team have built and scaled their business at a rapid pace off their own bootstraps and Black Nova is excited to be partnering with the team to support growth of the platform at home and abroad on what looks to be a very promising and successful journey,” he said. 

Hireup director of corporate affairs Neil Pharaoh has been using GovConnex and says it’s improved the disability employment platform’s workflow. 

“When it comes to the disability sector, we see enormous value in being able to navigate this complex political space much more efficiently,” he said.

“Our team is empowered to focus less time on research and more time on engaging with our key government stakeholders.”

Jonathon Flegg, Head of Public Policy & Government Partnerships at C|T Group said the GovConnex platform is a game-changer. 

“The tool gives our Corporate Advisory team the information we need, when we need it, so we can stay across some of our most consequential national conversations at the State and Federal level,” said Flegg.