Textizen, the civic tech startup from Code for America fellow Michelle Lee, has been acquired by government communications platform GovDelivery, Textizen announced this morning. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Textizen’s team is split between Philadelphia, where Lee lives, and San Francisco, where her COO Alex Yule and CTO Serena Wales are based. GovDelivery has offices in St. Paul, Minn., and Washington, D.C., but Lee will remain in Philadelphia, she said. Textizen is currently running a pilot with the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services, a result of the startup’s participation in the city’s civic tech accelerator FastFWD.
The acquisition will help Textizen, which allows governments to use texting as a way to communicate with their constituents, to reach more customers, according to the release, since GovDelivery works with more than 1,000 governments.
It’s a success story for Code for America — Yule and Lee, both Philly fellows, started the project during their fellowships.
“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,” Code for America executive director Jennifer Pahlka said in a statement.
It’s also a success story for Philadelphia, as the city acted as an incubator of sorts, too. Philly city government was the company’s first customer — and a repeat customer. Lee also kept a close relationship with the city and its Office of New Urban Mechanics after her fellowship ended, participating in FastFWD and speaking at events like the Mayor’s Innovation Summit.
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