This week, PearX S19 alum, Polimorphic, announced their $5.6m seed round led by M13 with participation from Pear and Shine Capital. We’re really excited about this milestone for Polimorphic because we’ve been able to witness their incredible growth from an idea that came about in their dorm room at MIT to becoming a leading infrastructure player for state, local, and federal government agencies. They’ve demonstrated some amazing traction: 30 governments actively using their platform and they continue to add 15 new customers every month.
To mark the occasion, we wanted to look back over the last 4+ years of working with the Polimorphic team and some of the major milestones along the way.
How we met the team
We first met Polimorphic’s co-founders, Parth and Daniel, at MIT when they applied for Pear Competition. We invited them to join our upcoming PearX batch in the Summer of 2019.
At the time, the founders were working on a product to make sense of government data. The first version was a tool to collect information from federal, state, and local agencies like press releases, legislation and more, making it easy to digest and consume for politicians and constituents alike but especially for younger consumers.
How they evolved
Polimorphic has evolved quite a bit since 2019. After PearX, the team raised some additional capital and went on a country wide road trip to meet face-to-face with federal, state, and local agencies to learn about their needs. In January 2020, they set off on their trip and visited Iowa, New Hampshire, Washington DC, North Carolina, and Michigan. The pandemic hit during this road trip, and they were even stranded in Michigan for a while!
Through many months of customer discovery, they learned that their data transparency product was not, in fact, the biggest pain point for governments. Instead, they learned that federal, state, and local government agencies dealt with a tremendous amount of manual work with the number of tasks they deal with – from applications to internal approval workflows to payments processing.
Why we invested
While the product has evolved since 2019, we knew there was a big opportunity here for this team to tackle. We were very optimistic about their unique ability to build in this space and we’re really excited that they uncovered this big opportunity. Some of the reasons we were, and still are, excited about this team include:
Market opportunity: We all interact with local, state, and federal governments for many daily tasks. We see a multi billion dollar opportunity in providing software to help federal, state, and local governments manage their day-to-day work. Governments still use a lot of pen and paper in their processes which is why many people view governments as slow moving. But interacting with our government does not need to be a slog.
Product vision: The team saw this big untapped opportunity to digitize and add automation to our interactions with governments. Polimorphic helps digitize applications, payments, internal approval flows and use AI to help automate the busy work for government employees.
Founding team: We found Parth and Daniel so compelling. They were two undergraduate engineers thinking deeply about the problems our governments face. Parth’s grandfather worked in local government and he saw first hand the work that went into getting constituents their basic government services. This problem felt really personal to them. They were on a mission to solve these problems and had the grit and tenacity to focus on an otherwise unsexy space. We knew if they could land some customers, the product would be sticky and this has proven to be true.
What’s to come
Over the last four years, we’ve partnered closely with their team as they’ve refined their product roadmap. We helped them identify the biggest hurdles that governments face and encouraged them to really talk to their customers to understand those pain points inside and out.
We also helped the Polimorphic team fine tune their pitch and raise additional capital. When looking to raise more funding, Parth presented again at our PearX W23 demo day and quickly found a lead investor for this round.
This team has made huge strides since we met them. It’s really inspiring to look back over the last few years to see how they’ve grown in a relatively short amount of time. They went from being stuck in Michigan during the pandemic with no customers to having 30 cities and counties (and growing!) using their software. They’re rapidly growing and are adding a new city to their platform every 2 days. They recently launched a GovGPT, the first gen AI tool that governments have made public to their constituents in the entire country. We’re excited for their future!