US-based VC fund Good Growth Capital led a US$1.2m seed round in Irys, a Mexican platform for civic engagement with local governments, with participation from Arcadis, Techstars Ventures, and City Rise Ventures.
(Contxto) Running a fantastic city shouldn’t be left to governments alone. Engagement with citizenry is not only necessary, it’s crucial to build a place worth living in.
To push for further community engagement, govtech Irys recently raised US$1.2 million in a seed round led by Good Growth Capital. Other investors include Arcadis, Techstars Ventures, and City Rise Ventures.
The startup told Contxto that a part of these funds will serve to grow in Mexico and help local governments digitize their all-too-traditionally-bureaucratic processes.
Irys keeps its eye on community-building
Irys’s forte is improving communication whether that be between governments and residents, or within military bases and businesses.
One of its products is a tool to report issues one might find while out on the street. For example, if a person is walking along the street and they spot a pothole, they take a picture and upload it onto the app.
From there, the govtech’s algorithm can classify the issue and submit it to the corresponding government office.
It’s a way to better connect everyone and it indirectly pushes for more accountability.
Irys in Mexico
The startup may be based in San Antonio, Texas, but its Mexican co-Founders grant it a perspective to give the startup the best of both worlds.
“As entrepreneurs from Mexico with a lot of expertise in the govtech industry, both in Mexico and the United States, we understand governments’ needs across multiple levels. That’s why we’ve chosen to expand our sales efforts towards Mexico and Latam,” says Eduardo Bravo, co-Founder and CFO at Irys.
The startup already began treading into Latin America and developed projects alongside local governments in Central and Northern Mexico.
More recently, the Covid-19 pandemic led the startup to launch a support app and platform that gathers and analyzes data both for citizens and authorities.
Users can self-screen their symptoms and use the report when consulting with a physician. It also allows them to report if there’s been a large social gathering of people, that goes against self-isolation measures.
Simultaneously, the platform allows decision-makers to gouge and map levels of contagion. And it’s already in use in multiple locations throughout Mexico.