The U.S. government signs over an estimated 11 million contracts every years that are worth hundreds of billions of dollars – representing a substantial market for vendors. However, the bureaucratic and regulatory complexities of federal contracting often make it a very daunting experience for companies to navigate. Obtaining government contracts involves a rigorous process that includes eligibility verification, proper representations and certifications, completion of various standard forms, and compliance with federal acquisitions regulations. On average, it takes several months, to well over a year for vendors to secure any contract awards.
Recognizing the formidable challenges associated with government contracting, Mike and Nick Weiland founded Telescope, a company dedicated to pursuing lucrative government opportunities. However, the complexities of compliance and selling compelled them to establish an entire department within the company to address these issues.
Their recognition of a critical need for streamlining the government contracting process led to the creation of Govly. In collaboration with Jon Wright, the Weiland brothers launched Govly, a platform designed to enable companies to assess, search, and analyze government contract requirements from various sources. Backed by Y Combinator, Govly recently secured $9.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Insight Partners, valuing the startup at $41 million post-money.
Govly employs SAM.gov, the official platform for vendor eligibility verification to access potential contract opportunities. This platform also supports other contract feeds. Govly’s customers can create targeted searches to identify specific contract types and receive notifications when new opportunities align with their saved searches.
To enhance the quality of contract searches, Govly utilizes a combination of third-party AI services, including OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 large language model and AWS Comprehend. These services extract crucial contract opportunity details such as descriptions, due dates, customers, and locations, while standardizing the various classification codes employed by the government for these opportunities, such as the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
In addition to contract search capabilities, Govly offers several high-value features for automating contracting workflows and coordinating tasks like initial solicitations. This functionality enables businesses to collaborate with partners in response to solicitations and potentially discover new partnerships in the process. For instance, a Govly customer can collaborate with another organization on Govly’s platform to share data and work together on government contract bids.
Govly faces competition from companies like Bloomberg and GovWin. Nonetheless, it is rapidly expanding, with annual recurring revenue currently at approximately $1.2 million, and a projected path to profitability by the end of 2023. The Govly team, comprised of eight individuals, currently serves around 400 organizations, ranging from paying enterprises to free, limited-access users.
The funds raised to date in their recent Series A round will be allocated to expanding Govly’s team and broadening the platform’s coverage beyond primarily IT contracts to include state and local education opportunities, according to the company.
Govly’s mission is to facilitate organizations in establishing or maintaining relationships and contracts with the public sector, particularly with the United States government, which is one of the largest procurers of goods and services in the world. Govly seeks to address the many challenge of access by creating a network for the entire government contractor supply chain, enabling them to discover, track, collaborate, and secure more business opportunities. Instead of the traditional method where government opportunities are forwarded through various entities, Govly streamlines the process by allowing instant collaboration and work on opportunities within a single platform.