Announcing Column’s Series A Round

By Jake Seaton  •  CEO & Founder  •  August 6, 2022
Column HQ

Today, we are announcing that Column has raised a $30M Series A Round led by Lux Capital.

The round brings our total funding raised to $33.3M and includes follow-on participation from seed investors Amity Ventures and Govtech fund, as well as our incredible roster of angel investors spanning the media, government, and technology industries including  Marty Baron, Paul Bascobert, Claire Hughes Johnson, Henry Ward, Nick Sinai, David Chavern, and Craig Forman.

Along with our Series A announcement, we have also launched our new website (welcome)!

Column is on a mission to make public information systems more valuable, beginning with public notice. 

Since our launch in September 2020, hundreds of media organizations across the country have adopted our first product: public notice software. This software helps these organizations serve tens of thousands of their clients — government agencies, legal services, banks, businesses, and individuals — in the transaction of public notices.

And we’re just getting started. This latest round of fundraising positions our team to continue building the company and the products we — and the folks using our tools — have dreamed about.

How We Are Deploying Our Funds

Scaling our core public notice product. Our public notice software is currently live in all 50 states as well as the UK and Canada. We’re also in the early innings of rolling out our platform with a handful of significant media enterprises and this funding gives us the resources to do that right.

Expanding the value of public-notice transactions. We’re currently piloting services for Procurement Officers placing RFP notices to administer additional steps in the procurement process, for Trustees placing Sheriff Sale notices to manage virtual auctions, and for citizens placing a Notice to Creditors to utilize real estate services for the sale of a property — all within the Column software. These developments will not only deliver more value to our users, it will also reposition our publishing partners as facilitators and value-added partners to their customers on important transactions and life events, opening up expansive revenue-generating opportunities for the news industry.

Deploying the Column API. Column has already used the API internally to power public notice databases across 18 states including California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas. By making the API publicly available, we expect to engage with media businesses, governments, academic researchers, and businesses on ways to unlock new value in structured public information. Coming this fall is the public release of the first-ever Public Notice API which provides structured machine-readable access to 60+ notice type categories.

Why Venture Capital

As a public benefit company, Column has benefited from access to the widest spectrum of financing options out of any type of business. Since our incorporation, we’ve won grants, competed in business plan competitions, accepted donations, and raised money from friends and family.

As we’ve converged on product-market fit and the growth opportunity ahead of our business has become more self-evident, venture emerged as the clear choice for financing the company as we scale.

Venture capital as an asset class is designed for taking risks and betting big on great teams with ambitious visions like ours. We feel incredibly lucky to have found a partner in Lux Capital that will support us in our mission and hold us accountable to building an amazing business along the way.

Column is a venture-backed public benefit company (B-Corp) — there aren’t many of those. We view this as a unique opportunity to chart our own course, serve our stakeholders, and build a long-term, sustainable business that moves the world forward in a material way.

With all of the challenges in the news industry today, including those brought about by private equity investors and asset managers, venture is about optimism and hope and imagining what is possible if we get this right.

Our Long-Term Goal

Since I founded Column in 2019, I’ve often been asked what Column’s “endgame” is, as there’s a long history of technological disruption in the newspaper industry.

As Column has grown, I increasingly get asked if I’m planning to sell the company. I’m not.

We’re in this for the long-haul. Taking on this kind of investment means we have the resources to double down on our vision and reach our goal of becoming a publicly traded company. For now, we’ve got some building to do.