The RealCo long-term accelerator program added two more new companies to its portfolio last week: FastVisa and Totem. The San Antonio-based accelerator works with business-to-business (B2B) companies in the technology space looking to grow into larger, stronger businesses.
FastVisa is a legal technology software startup based in Dallas, TX. Co-founders Paul Kang and Ethan Jeong launched FastVisa in March 2016 after their first-hand experience with the issue they are solving.
The duo first met as students attending the John Hopkins Carey Business School. By 2014, they had started an education tech platform called The Given that provided on-demand tutoring for students.
Then, Kang dealt with the U.S. immigration system when sponsoring his wife for a green card, while Jeong applied for a U.S. visa. Their experiences moved them to close down the edtech company and launch a legal tech startup instead.
“We help legal professionals, HR, nonprofits, and lawyers use our assistance to speed things up,” Kang said. “Legal professionals spend so much time on administrative work rather than substantive legal work. FastVisa frees up their valuable time to focus on legal work for clients.”
The FastVisa software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is designed for integrated immigration and visa case management. Legal professionals use several applications and often must manually pull together all that data into one case file for the client. FastVisa built its end-to-end platform to create a unified case management and tracking system with automated form population features.
“Reducing the workload helps to make immigration and visa preparation easier, faster, and much more affordable,” Kang said. “We’re committed to ensuring that organizations helping immigrants apply for legal status have a comprehensive, low-cost technology platform designed with the ideal tools to serve more people faster and with greater efficiency than ever before.”
The company has eight employees and already has more than 200,000 applications in the system. Its longer-term goal over the next three years is to scale the FastVisa platform so it can handle 1.5 million applications.
“By scaling, we can continue to service small and medium law firms, and over time, work with larger nonprofits like Catholic Charities as well as enterprise law firms and corporate HR teams,” Kang said.
Totem provides a customer-relations management analytics platform designed for nonprofits. Their intuitively designed software integrates multiple silos of both donor and volunteer information in one easy-to-use package.
Alan Wei and Megan Cox co-founded the company, which is headquartered in Richmond, VA. Wei started Totem in 2017 initially as a social media platform to connect students to nonprofits looking for volunteers. The students would fundraise on behalf of the nonprofit in weekly competitions and win prizes provided by sponsoring businesses.
“When I started working closely with nonprofits, I understood that the tech they were using was limiting their ability to keep up with donors and reach out to new segments like students and young professionals,” Wei said. “Often, the platform they’d use didn’t make it easy to find events, make donations, and manage a donor database.”
Many nonprofits use up to six different systems to manage events, emails, newsletters, handle accounting, process donations, plus maintain databases for donors and volunteers, Wei said. Clients would enter data manually into Quickbooks and often lacked an integrated understanding of their supporter base.
This realization led to pivoting the business model into a B2B SaaS focused on nonprofits. Totem includes analytics in its platform to help nonprofit clients uncover trends they can act upon for more engagement with donors.
“We call ourselves a supporter engagement platform, not just a donor management system,” Cox said. “Totem houses integrated information to give nonprofits a 360-degree view of their constituents.”
The seven-member startup is focused on incorporating more automation into the platform so “nonprofits can harvest more tech benefits,” Cox said.
With over 40 clients, Totem is working toward a goal of 300 clients. Longer-term, Wei wants to “transform the nonprofit ecosystem as a whole with our fully automated SaaS platform that can leverage big data and artificial intelligence.”
RealCo invests seed capital in the startups participating in its accelerator program. They work closely with each team, often connecting founders to expert mentors and downstream investors.
“With both of these companies, we saw technology improving an otherwise inefficient process,” RealCo director Cole Wollak said. “FastVisa [is] working with law firms and nonprofits to help their clients correctly navigate the immigration process and Totem [is] working with nonprofits to streamline engagements with their supporters to increase impact the organization’s impact.”
Featured image is of FastVisa founders (from left) Ethan Jeong and Paul Kang, who have joined the RealCo accelerator program. Courtesy photo.