Our Mission: Increase government transparency and cultivate a more connected, empowered society through the use of modern technology. We're building the first
gateway that helps businesses and individuals make sense of messy government data.
Why: Corporations, lobbyists, non-profits, and individuals alike are still using spreadsheets and archaic government websites to understand how bills impact their industry. They deserve a 21st century tool that streamlines how we make sense of pending legislation, and enables a more transparent and accessible lobbying process.
Investors: $2.3M+ pre-seed led by WndrCo, Motivate Venture Capital, Amplify.LA, StageVP, Jarl Mohn (Founder of E! & Former CEO of MTV & NPR), Nick Allen (Founding Product Designer at Snapchat), and Hon. Tony Coelho (Former Congressman & Primary Sponsor of American Disabilities Act.
Team: Passionate and Hungry (both literally and figuratively) Engineers looking to build cool stuff to benefit all citizens!
Where: We're based in sunny Los Angeles, but are a primarily remote team hiring nationwide.
Why join us?
We've raised $2.3M led by WndrCo, Motivate Venture Capital, Amplify.LA, StageVP, Jarl Mohn (Founder of E! & Former CEO of MTV & NPR), Nick Allen (Founding Product Designer at Snapchat), and Hon. Tony Coelho (Former Congressman & Primary Sponsor of American Disabilities Act.
Notable advisors include:
- Jack Brody - Director of Product at Snapchat
- Adele Rom - Former VP of Human Resources at JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Former Head of People-Ops at Riot Games
- Chris Micheli - Thought leader in the CA lobbying space who's written countless textbooks that every lobbyist reads before joining the industry
- Ryan Kelly - Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Virgin Hyperloop
We have 55 organizations with 45% WAU on our pilot program, including the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Snapchat, and Ceres.
Engineering at Abstract
Abstract's engineering team is still in its early days, so we have just begun to set the foundations for a structure of teams that tend to our product's different services. The engineering team can be split into two groups. The data engineering team uses services with 200+ scrapers and a collection of sanitizers and processors that clean the data and extract deep, nested information that we can use in simple queries to offer as much info as possible on CA legislation, all of which is stored in a collection of pipelines and event-based services that run twice a day. Work on this team is handled in a kanban, prioritization method. The product engineering team is responsible for building the platform that the data is hosted on, and defines sprints between 1-3 weeks in length that redesign, refactor, improve, or measure our existing set of research tools on the platform. Both departments use gitlab to host their codebases, and run a series of CI/CD pipelines before any code makes it to production, which all engineers are currently trusted to do effectively.
Since we are in the business of structuring decades-old unstructured data, the challenges we run into on a daily basis involve coming up with future-proof, general purpose designs and schemas that hold data that comes in different formats. For example, legislation analyses documents differ in PDF format based on when they were written, who they were written by, and at what stage the bill is currently at. Building our extractor, that searches for all organizations that have taken a stance on a bill, required running multiple tests on different PDFs from specific sessions, committees, and topics.
Gut & amend filter (past project)
The gut & amend process is a controversial practice that is a common occurrence in the CA legislature. In this process, bills are introduced discussing one topic, then they are immediately
amendedby removing all contents of the bill and replacing it with another agenda, bypassing the public eye and buying lawmakers more time to draft their bills (e.g. a gun rights bill turns into an anti-abortion bill, but keeps the gun rights title). In order to make these easier to spot by Abstract users, we built a flagging tool to build a dataset of bills that have been gutted and amended, then used that to build a pseudo-classifier that automated the process of detecting when a bill has gone through this process. Now, users can filter gut and amended bills by simply clicking on a check box in our bill search view.
Data observability (current project)
As young as our product is, the Abstract platform and its encompassing services are quickly growing in complexity as we expand our data granularity and jurisdiction coverage. As such, you would be tasked with implementing the monitoring and visualization tools necessary (not built in-house, but integrating existing ones) for us to observe the flow of data and health of all of the Abstract services.
Growth features (current project)
Our customers have a communication and sharing-heavy workflow, so you will be tasked with implementing features that will allow secure sharing of components between workspaces on the platform, as well as methods of communication between users that we can embed into the product to support more of their daily work, and present the most value to customers.
Working at Abstract
Every 6 months, we host a company retreat 🙌
We're milestone based! Other than stand-ups, and department specific meetings, you choose whichever hours work best for you to work.
Work from Home
The three co-founder are 1st generation immigrants. Patrick is Argentinean, Matthew is Taiwanese, and Mohammed is Kuwaiti.
Prioritizes diversity in hiring
Social impact driven
Our core mission is increase government transparency and cultivate a more connected, empowered democratic society through the use of modern technology.
Interested in this company?
Skip straight to final-round interviews by applying through Triplebyte.