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New Sean Parker-Funded Political Network Announces Partners

Still not sure what Brigade is, but it has signed up some organizations to use it.

Brigade Media/Facebook

Voter engagement startup Brigade Media announced Wednesday that eight groups have signed up to use its upcoming social networking platform as the company gets ready to launch early next year.

Among the groups are the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, the environmental group Rainforest Action Network and the veteran’s group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

It is still not clear what Brigade is actually creating, but it’s expected to be some sort of social network devoted to voter engagement on the federal and state levels. A company spokesman said the site is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

The groups have promised to run campaigns using Brigade’s nonpartisan site, according to a blog post Brigade released Wednesday morning.

“Our initial set of partners will be an integral part of ensuring that Brigade users have a high-quality experience when our product launches next year, and we look forward to learning from their expertise,” Brigade Vice President Matt Wilson said in a written statement.

Brigade logo

Brigade rose, in part, from the ashes of Causes, the once-popular civic fundraising platform that allowed Facebook users to support or organize campaigns and local fundraisers for issues they cared about. Parker co-founded Causes with Joe Green, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommates who went on to found

Causes lost popularity once it detached itself from Facebook, however, to become its own social network. Brigade acquired majority control of Causes’ corporate parent earlier this year. Several former Causes executives are now leading Parker’s Brigade Media, including CEO Matt Mahan.

Brigade is part of a larger effort by Parker and other tech industry billionaires to focus more heavily on politics and civil engagement issues. Among Brigade’s other major investors are venture capitalist Ron Conway and CEO Marc Benioff, both of whom are also frequent contributors to campaigns and political causes.

Two political groups Parker has financially backed — and Mayday PAC — haven’t fared so well in recent months. dumped its president, Joe Green (who also sits on Brigade’s board), while Mayday PAC had some problems picking winners to back in the November election.

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