Andreessen Horowitz Invests in Software Startup NationBuilder

NationBuilder, a creator of software for organizing political campaigns and grass-roots movements, received $6.25 million in funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz.

Ben Horowitz, who co-founded the venture capital firm with Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen, will join the board at NationBuilder, the Los Angeles-based company said in a statement. Other investors include early Facebook Inc. (FB) executives Sean Parker, Dustin Moskovitz and Dave Morin.

Founded in 2009 by documentary film producer Jim Gilliam, NationBuilder charges campaign organizers, fundraisers and others $19 per month for tools to manage an online network of supporters. Joe Green, the startup’s co-founder, who will take the role of president, is a former political activist and creator of the online-charity startup Causes.

“We’re entering the age of the individual entrepreneur because there are so many things that you can get through outsourced software,” Horowitz said in a March 6 telephone interview. “NationBuilder lets you organize people, enabling a potentially tremendous market.”

Green plans to help NationBuilder find an audience with politicians at many levels, he said in an interview yesterday.

“When the story is written about how social media affected politics, it’s not going to be who is elected president of the United States,” Green said. “It’s going to be who is elected to the hundreds of thousands of other offices, like your school board and city council, which are the people who most directly affect everyday quality of life.”

Sign Petitions

NationBuilder provides a website where members of a group or cause can sign petitions, donate and provide feedback while using their Facebook login credentials. The organizer can communicate with this group via e-mail, mobile phone text messages and social networking tools like Twitter.

Previously, this combination of tools was “only available to folks who have a lot of resources or a lot of technical background,” Gilliam, the site’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview yesterday.

NationBuilder has more than 500 groups, which it calls “nations,” comprising 2 million supporters. They include the website for Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign in the state of New Hampshire and a site promoting the 2010 documentary film ‘American Meat.’

Last year, NationBuilder received $500,000 from investors including Chris Hughes, the Facebook co-founder who helped run Barack Obama’s online campaign in the 2008 presidential election.

Andreessen Horowitz said in January it had raised $1.5 billion for its third fund, aimed at investing in technology companies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Douglas Macmillan in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at

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