RAZ raises $800k for hires and marketing, announces partnership
RAZ Mobile on Monday closed $800,000 in Series A funding from a lone, undisclosed investor, bringing total capital raised to date for the Overland Park, Kan. startup to just more than $1 million.
RAZ, which helps nonprofits and other causes raise money through mobile web pages, plans to use the new capital to hire a chief marketing officer and chief operating officer (that will bring the company's full-time team to three people), acquire office space and roll out "a full slate of product enhancements," RAZ founder Dale Knoop said in a phone interview Wednesday.
RAZ also intends to use the funds to ratchet up its marketing efforts.
"I liken it to changing the size of our megaphone," Knoop said. "We've been working through a really, really tiny megaphone, and we want to get to a point where we have more of a national voice. So we'll begin to roll things out from a marketing perspective that will support that national voice."
RAZ launched in late July, and Knoop said the response since then has been "phenomenal." The company currently has about two dozen clients in various stages of launching sites and campaigns, and Knoop said the additional funding will help RAZ respond to existing demand and generate new interest.
"We had launched the platform, and we were getting a great response to our message," he said. "So we said, we obviously need more money to roll out new features that our current crop of clients have asked for — prospective clients have asked for them too — and begin to ramp our marketing message up to more of a national scale."
To that end, RAZ recently struck up a partnership with Coalescent, a Washington, D.C. company that helps political action committees manage events.
Knoop said politicians and PACs alike have expressed a need for what RAZ offers.
"It's something that's currently not being done for the PAC community, and when we sort of sat down with the PACs, with Coalescent, we've had a fantastic response from the PACs saying, 'Yeah, I want to be able to do this for my members.' "
Though RAZ's efforts with politicians may not bear fruit this election cycle, Knoop is optimistic about what the future holds on that front.
"What I'll tell you right now," he said, "is all of the guys that are up for re-election in 2014 are already starting to talk to us and say, 'Hey, what can I do for 2014?' "