IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Cox Enterprises Creates Venture Arm With Eye Toward Gov Tech

The company has launched Socium Ventures, which will focus on emerging businesses, including in the gov tech space. Cox already backs OpenGov and Carbyne, and now seeks to benefit more from its existing relationships.

graph on black background showing four lines trending up
Cox Enterprises is getting deeper into government technology investment, this time via a new fund called Socium Ventures.

Cox Enterprises, known mostly for its cable and broadband operations, led last year’s $56 million Series C funding round for emergency call technology provider Carbyne.

Cox also backs OpenGov, a budgeting, planning and procurement software provider that about a year ago bought Cartegraph.

Socium Ventures will focus on gov tech and other emerging growth businesses with investments that range from $3 million to $25 million, according to a company announcement.

“Given Cox’s involvement with many local governments and communities, we’ve made several investments in the gov tech space, namely our ownership in OpenGov,” wrote Andrew Davis, who serves as senior vice president of strategy and investments for Cox and as managing partner of Socium, in an email. “We will continue to evaluate other ideas in gov tech as we like the long-term trends of digitalization and improved citizen transparency and access that are driving the sector.”

Socium will seek to fund companies whose platforms “digitize government workflows, compliance and citizen services,” Davis said.

Socium has an advantage, he said, from existing relationships with Cox Communications and Cox Automotive, the latter of which includes brands like Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. As he put it, those operating divisions offer “inroads” to public agencies that in turn can produce leads for new investments in gov tech.

“That alone helps us discover companies attempting to sell into the government channel often earlier than others,” Davis said. “We have an investor on our team that exclusively focuses on gov tech, so we are particularly invested in the space.”
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.