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The Business of Voting by Mail 📬

The Business of Voting by Mail 📬
November 2, 2020

2020 is the year that voting by mail has taken the spotlight like never before and companies supporting the vote-in mail process have been overwhelmed by the demand. While vote by mail has existed in the United States since the Civil War where soldiers could vote back in their home counties through postal services, the outcome of this year’s election could very well lie on mail-in voting. 


Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

Outbound Printing

  • Aside from printing, a piece of important machinery called the ballot inserters is a heavy investment, costing millions apiece.
  • Each ballot has an identifiable bar code that tells exactly what it is and there can be thousands of varieties in a single election.

Runbeck Election Services from Arizona is one of the biggest ballot printing companies handling ballot printing in the West. They shifted their operations from print publications to solely focusing on election voting.

  • Although they already had 5 inserters, they ordered an additional 11 inserters in March anticipating the surging demand for mail-in ballots. 
  • The company also performs inbound counting of votes operations and has products it sells to support tabulation.

K&H Printing, from Seattle, Washington, has been in the commercial printing business since 1908 and its division K&H Election Services prints the most ballots in the country by volume. 

Inbound Counting
As expected, mail-in ballots take a long time to count in the inbound process. This is a highly regulated process with officials having to validate the legitimacy of the envelope,  the ballot as well as the signature match. In large counties, counting machines called tabulators support the inbound process and although smaller counties have done them by hand, they have raced to incorporate tabulators for the influx of mail-in votes. 

To learn more about tomorrow's election, the California Sunday Magazine partnered with PrivCo on a special report.
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1,300 Companies | 120 Funding Activities | 130 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

 

$100MM Funding
Whoop, a sports performance wearables company backed by the likes of Softbank, Patrick Mahomes, Jack Dorsey raises a $100MM Series E funding gaining unicorn status.

Biotechnology funding
Inflammatix, a molecular diagnostics company from Burlingame, California, received a contract extension of $7.4MM from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, to further develop its point-of-care test and system to diagnose infection by reading the immune system. 

Q32 Bio, a company developing biologic therapeutics to restore healthy immune regulation, received a $60MM Series B round from Acorn Bioventures and OrbiMed Advisors.

Cloud and data-related funding and deals
Arable, a pioneer in data solutions for agriculture, has closed a $20MM Series B to help digitize and optimize decisions from seed breeding to food production.

Seattle-based startup Pulumi, an open-source infrastructure for creating, deploying, and managing cloud infrastructure, has raised $37.5 million in Series B funding led by NEA.

Genius Sports Group, a sports data technology company is going public in a $1.5BN deal with a SPAC deal by dMY Technology Acquisition II. It is believed to be the first sport-related SPAC deal with a U.K. company.

Other funding and deals
Cann, a Los Angeles-based purveyor of cannabis-infused social tonics,  received an undisclosed investment from a star-studded group of actors, musicians, athletes, and creators.

Transcend, a leader in business optimization for financial firms has closed $10MM in Series A financing.

One-click housing startup Atmos raises another $4MM equity funding from angel investors.  

The CEO of Qualtrics, a company for market research, customer satisfaction, and more, is buying a majority stake in the Utah Jazz for $1.6BN.

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