RALEIGH – Cityzen Solutions raised $6.1 million in October, the company’s first funding round, from Growth Street Partners. And Cityzen has big plans.

The startup will use the capital to “strengthen its leadership position in a rapidly adopting market by accelerating investments in the company’s product and go-to-market efforts,” according to a statement issued by the organizations.

The company, co-founded by CEO Jay Dawkins, began as an idea that became incubated by the live-in community,ThinkHouse, connected to Hub Raleigh, which became HQ Raleigh, and is now Raleigh Founded.

It now operates as Public Input and provides community engagement software for governments.

“Collaborative democracy succeeds through technology, we work to ensure government agencies can build lasting relationships with the communities who rely on them,” the company’s website reads.

Cityzen serves governmental organizations, and the statement notes that these organizations are “increasingly focused on expanding their community engagement, including reaching larger, more diverse groups residing in their jurisdictions.”

A 2020 survey found that half of local governments consider community engagement a top priority.  The company noted in its statement that there appears to be increasing focus on enhancing equity through modernizing community engagement practices, and that the company is a part of facilitating that shift.

Its clients include more than 120 public sector entities from 35 U.S. states, including the City of Raleigh, the City of Charlotte, the City of Austin, Fairfax County, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

“PublicInput has a diverse and growing community of government customers across the country, and we’re committed to helping them solve the emerging challenges of public engagement,” said Dawkins.  “With Growth Street, we can invest in new technology and grow our ecosystem of organizations delivering government ‘for the people, by the people’.”

The company employs about 35 people to support its clients and operate its business.  And, according Dawkins, the company is hiring, with positions in customer success, sales, finance, and engineering.

Growth Street Partners will join the board of directors as a part of the deal.

Raleigh software startup Cityzen Solutions, operators of PublicInput.Com, raises $6.1M