Causes.com, a San Francisco startup that spun out of Facebook to provide an online home for grassroots philanthropy and activism, on Thursday announced that it had acquired a similar company, Votizen.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Votizen, founded in 2009 in San Francisco, helps people tap their social networks for political influence. The company has married voter registration records from across the United States with user profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks to create a database that maps a voter's connections.

Activists can then use that information to find potential voters among people they know.

"We're thrilled to bring together two teams that share a common vision for transforming civic engagement through technology," Causes CEO Matt Mahan said in a blog post.

Causes was co-founded by Facebook's first president, Sean Parker, who also has been a Votizen board member and investor.

Causes says more than 170 million users have launched campaigns that range from saving Peruvian rainforests to preserving the rights of homeowners in one Canadian town to grow vegetables. Through the site, activists can raise money, start petitions and keep their supporters updated via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail.

Mahan said Votizen's voter-registration database "will instantly give greater weight" to the campaigns his users create.


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Contact Peter Delevett at 408-271-3638 or pdelevett@mercurynews.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/mercwiretap.