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Matt Kalmans
Sacha Samotin
Anthony Liveris

Year Founded:

Applecart’s mission is to utilize their unique combination of political and technical experience to build scalable, scientific, and data-driven solutions to address the toughest problems facing the nation’s largest political, nonprofit, and corporate organizations.

Applecart’s Social Graph Technology is Changing the use of Analytics and Voter Targeting

As political entrepreneurs emerge around the country delivering solutions to some of the county’s most pressing problems, we feel companies such as Applecart are in the lineup of winners.

One of the biggest problems in politics today is that  campaigns spend millions of dollars targeting a small and unrepresentative electorate. Academic research has demonstrated the power of social pressure in mobilizing voters, but traditionally, only the biggest players—like unions and presidential campaigns—have had the resources at their disposal to mobilize a broader base of voters through sophisticated organizing efforts. Applecart’s goal is to apply proprietary technology to enable organizations to leverage the same efficacy of social pressure-based persuasion and mobilization strategies at scale, with no organizing overhead.

proprietary social graph technology

Specifically, the company’s proprietary social graph technology leverages relationships between target individuals and their influencers to help political organizations and corporations mobilize and persuade voters and consumers, nonprofit organizations fundraise, and advocacy groups lobby elected officials with more impact.

Using sophisticated data mining techniques Applecart has tapped into a number of online and offline data sources from organization directories to school yearbooks, amateur sports leagues and news articles, which when pieced together provide a comprehensive view of individuals’ social relationships. To construct a “Social Graph”, or to map these social relationships within a client’s geography, Applecart has developed technologies to collect, extract, and then score relationships identified in these publicly available sources, both online and offline.

Photo by Alex Schein, Penn Arts & Sciences

Photo by Alex Schein, Penn Arts & Sciences

Applecart’s social graph has enabled it to develop a suite of high impact products that have applications from voter mobilization and targeting to donor identification and high dollar product marketing. Using the relationships identified by the social graph, Applecart has used social pressure to produce the largest voter turnout increase recorded in U.S. history, model voter behavior with unparalleled accuracy to drive strategy for some of the most prominent  political campaigns in the country, and help companies and advocacy organizations leverage their consumers and employees to effectively lobby elected officials and regulators.

recognized for their innovative approach

In the 2016 cycle Applecart was widely recognized for their innovative approach to targeting and mobilization as the data and analytics force behind Gov. John Kasich’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination, in particular Kasich’s surprising second place finish in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary.

While today Applecart primarily serves political campaigns and advocacy groups the company is beginning to develop and release applications of their technology to persuade and mobilize consumers for commercial purposes.

We ask Applecart what they would do with a $300,000 grant, here’s what they said:

As we begin building teams to leverage our technology in other verticals, outside of politics, we’ve begun hiring experienced, top-flight technology leaders with critical expertise to join our team.
This funding would be instrumental to helping fuel that transition to commercial verticals so that Applecart’s political work can stay focused on maximizing civic impact.

How does the mission of Applecart align with that of Invest America?

Technology is at the forefront of political reform across the United States, and if present conditions are any indication, it will continue to shape efforts to improve our political system and government for years to come. Today, as new technological tools emerge, high barriers to entry in politics are falling—and as a result, there is more transparency, access, and choice than ever before.

With their unique technology, Applecart will be able to give underfunded, less established reform efforts the tools to efficiently and cost effectively persuade and mobilize solutions-oriented voters in ways that strategically help elect solutions-oriented legislators and executives, rather than extremists.
You can read more about Applecart and its team here.

Invest America Fund is a seed fund building a community, joining social and political entrepreneurs with funders committed to cross-partisan policy transformation.  We target and support leaders and organizations whose ideas and approaches have the potential to reach and improve the lives of 150 million or more American voters.  The Fund is building a national matrix of steady-state funders to tackle the most important issues facing our country today and is inspiring a “Silicon Valley” for political reform.

Ileana WachtelApplecart