Cristian Robiou describes his road to GovTech as a bit of a “process of elimination.”
He went to law school with the expectation of becoming an academic or a litigator, but saw entrepreneurship as a way to “solve real problems…and provide some social utility.”
Government inefficiency was one real-world problem he quickly became fixated on.
The records systems used across government agencies often do not interoperate, meaning places like billing, HR, and business licensing departments rely on separate softwares.
“But the end users don’t distinguish between different departments. They assume government is uniform and monolithic…but that’s just not the case,” Robiou told Hypepotamus. That can lead to frustration when someone tries to get a business license, putting someone in a “ping pong battle with government trying to get a basic process initiated.”
That is on top of the security breaches that have plagued governmental systems over the last few years.
Technology companies and consulting agencies that have come in to help with the problem have traditionally been designed without the average user in mind, creating even more frustration for government employees and constituents alike.
To address this issue, Robiou launched Clarity Value, a Miami-based software startup designed specifically to tackle government inefficiencies through a more streamlined workflow. As a low-code solution, the platform can work across multiple government verticals to streamline workflows.
The startup has already garnered national attention.
In the Southeast, the cities of Atlanta, North Miami, and Riviera Beach are already customers, with additional cities in talks to become customers as well.
The Florida Department of Health used the platform to help automate the lab registration process in Florida for the entire state during the pandemic. The City of Atlanta started using Clarity Value as a case management solution.
Atlanta’s Director of Employee and Labor Relations Tamika Spirling-Brooks added in a statement that partnering with the startup has helped the city “create a digitized intake process for our department. We very much appreciate the responsiveness of Clarity’s team and their success configuring a system customized for our needs.”
Clarity Value’s Funding Journey
Robiou bootstrapped the startup for the first year and a half before raising a $500K round.
“That year and a half was really challenging for me as a person,” he told Hypepotamus. “But it was not challenging for me as the CEO of Clarity. Things were not going well to the outside observer. I didn’t have money, I didn’t have any product, or a team. But I kept having meetings with people in government who all said the same thing…which is that the market is crappy and we don’t have a lot of options. It isn’t easy for us to innovate…but if you pull this off, it would be huge.”
This week, the team announced it has raised a $2.5 million seed round from investors at Lightspeed Venture Partners, Newtype Ventures, Gaingels and Arogeti Endeavors.
Arogeti Endeavors is an Atlanta-based angel investment practice and startup advisory run by Scott and Jordan Arogeti.
“For us, it started with Cristian; his refusal to accept the status quo, and both his vision for how to improve the constituent experience and his passion to make it happen. Once we took a closer look at the product and realized how many happy customers he had already created, we became even more inspired to jump onboard. Citizens should expect their government to bring private sector quality technology to them, and we believe that’s exactly what Clarity Value is doing,” Scott told Hypepotamus.
Clarity Value, currently with a core of 6 employees, is based in Miami and has plans to expand the engineering and customer success teams following the funding news.