The metro’s field of venture capital-backed companies is getting more crowded — their payrolls swelling with new employees — amid a bounce-back from the global pandemic and new signals of Kansas City’s momentum, according to data in a new report from Startland News.
The 2022 Kansas City Venture Capital-Backed Companies Report provides an updated snapshot into the region’s growth-stage, venture-backed companies — reflecting ongoing deal flow, revenue growth, and workforce changes.
Startland News thanks presenting sponsor Bank of America, as well as partners at BARR Advisory, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and UMKC’s Technology Venture Studio, for their support of a private reception honoring the companies featured in this year’s report
“This report offers investors and ecosystem leaders another tool to gauge high-growth Kansas City companies’ progress on their journeys to exit — and can potentially trigger those in positions of power to pile onto that success with support or further investment,” said Austin Barnes, executive editor for Startland News, which partnered with UMKC’s Technology Venture Studio on the data project.
One of the year’s most buzz-worthy developments: 18 companies were newly eligible to be detailed in the report, which considers funding totals and other investment data. Together, they raised $217.4 million of the record $1.72 billion in funding for the 72 total companies.
These new entries ranged from autotech startup Whipz, which notched a hefty $1.8 million pre-seed round, to Foxpoint, an innovative transportation and logistics company that secured a $85 million capital infusion for growth. Other additions came in industries from eSports and cryptocurrency to biotech and online gifting.
“It is great to see so many new companies on the list this year,” said Jill Meyer, senior director of Technology Venture Studio. “A healthy ecosystem should mirror this continuum of deal flow from early up to VC space, and the visibility of many early-stage companies joining this list alongside the impressive growth of those businesses already on the list, demonstrates positive investment coming into Kansas City for our businesses.”
Click here for more of the leading takeaways from this report.
Note: The 2022 Kansas City Venture Capital-Backed Companies Report is not a ranking of companies’ value or worth, but a comprehensive data set of self-reported or publicly confirmed information from every company that meets the following criteria and responded to our call for data:
- Raised at least $1 million;
- Raised capital from at least one institutional venture investor;
- Pre-exit; and
- Physically headquartered in the greater Kansas City metro area as defined by the Kansas City Area Development Council.
The in-depth report is made possible through financial support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, though it was prepared independently by Startland News’ nonprofit newsroom.
About a dozen companies detailed in 2021 dropped from being listed in the 2022 report, either because of an exit, move in headquarters, closure or another significant change in eligibility.
LaborChart, for example, exited in October 2021 in an undisclosed deal with Procore to acquire the Overland Park-based workforce management software company; Spear Power Systems was purchased by East Coast powerhouse Sensata; Cingulate Therapeutics closed its IPO; and the Kansas City-built banking solution tailored to Black Americans, First Boulevard, became Kinly, which now touts its headquarters as Atlanta.
“The VC-Backed Companies Report also allows for introspection, specifically related to weak spots in the ecosystem, as well as where (and why in the case of the pandemic, for example) companies are stalling (or bailing) out,” said Barnes. “That information is valuable for community leaders — the people who can step up and do something to curb slowed progress.”
Keep scrolling to see which companies were included in the 2022 report, then check out more notable statistics pulled from this year’s data.
Finally, the default order for the list is the KC Growth Index (also explained below the list) which is an effort to create a fair and significant way to order the companies. Not all companies responded to all prompts, resulting in some instances of undisclosed or insufficient data.
NOTE: On desktop or laptop, you can sort by the different columns, click the “expand” icon by each company name for a company summary, and click “view larger version” in the bottom right corner for a sortable, full-screen view. On mobile, click on each company for a company summary.
- 72 total companies; 18 new companies, 12 companies dropped from the list.
- $1.72 billion raised (up 58 percent from $1.09 million in 2021)
- $175 million raised from KC-area investors (down 28 percent from $244 million)
- 2,759 total employees (up 16 percent from 2,370)
- 1,405 Kansas City employees (down 21 percent from 1,772)
Average company profile
- $28.25 million raised (up 35 percent from $20.88 million in 2021)
- 39.8 percent raised from Kansas City-area investors (down from 46 percent)
- 64.2 employees (up 9 percent from 59.1)
- 8.2 years old (up from 7.2 years)
- Two companies listed in the 2021 report were acquired since its publication: LaborChart and Spear Power Systems. Cingulate Therapeutics also announced the close of its initial public offering.
- The three exited companies had raised a combined $34.85 million and employed more than 100 workers.
- Two of the three were headquartered in Kansas (LaborChart in Overland Park; Cingulate in KCK). Spear was based in Grandview, Missouri.
- The 10-highest fundraising companies are (in order of funds raised) C2FO, PayIt, Bardavon Health Innovations, Foxpoint, Artio, Replica, Mylo, ShotTracker, Spinal Simplicity and Orange EV.
- These companies account for a combined $1.234 billion in funding (72 percent of the report’s total), 1,379 employees (more than 50 percent of those listed in the report, although four of the 10 highest fundraisers did not disclose their 2022 employee count), and are an average of 9.1 years old.
- The 10 highest fundraisers have a total of 22 founders; zero are women and three are Black or people of color. Of the 10 CEOs; zero are women and one is Black or a person of color.
New to the list
- The 18 new companies on the list are afloat, CryptoSlam, DealerCue/VinCue, Finotta, Flight Schedule Pro, Foothold Labs, Foxpoint Trucks, Healium, HomeRoom, KC Pioneers, Likarda, New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics, Novel Capital, Orange EV, Realto, Tile Five, Vytelle, and Whipz.
- These companies account for a combined $216.4 million in funding, 468 employees, and are an average of 6.8 years old (two of the companies are 22 years old).
- The 18 new companies have a total of 34 founders; four are women, two are Black or people of color, and two are veterans. Of the 18 CEOs, four are women, one is Black or a person of color, and three are veterans.
Missouri vs. Kansas
- Of the 72 companies on the list, 41 are headquartered in Kansas (18 in Overland Park), and 31 in Missouri (25 in Kansas City, Missouri).
- Kansas companies have raised more than twice as much capital ($36.55 million) on average than Missouri companies ($17.80 million).
- Kansas companies average nearly double the number of employees of Missouri companies — averaging 82.74 employees and 46.43 employees respectively.
- Kansas companies have on average raised 42.33 percent of their funding from Kansas City-area investors as compared to 37.09 percent by Missouri companies.
- Founder demographics:
- 138 founders
- 19 women (no change since 2021)
- 19 Black or people of color (down from 23 in 2021)
- CEO demographics:
- 73 CEOs (*DivvyHQ has co-CEOs)
- 11 women (no change since 2021)
- 8 Black or people of color (down from 10 in 2021)
Explaining the KC Growth Index
Startland, the parent organization of Startland News, established the KC Growth Index for the inaugural VC-Backed Companies report in 2018 to organize it in a fair and significant way. The evaluation system doesn’t solely prioritize capital raised, but instead creates a more comprehensive snapshot of venture-backed companies in the Kansas City area based on capital raised, number of employees, two-year average annual revenue growth rate and longevity.
The KC Growth Index calculation was tweaked this year, so a company’s score is now comparable year-to-year. It is based on a 27.5-point scale, but a company can exceed 27.5 points. For example, employee count is based on a 10-point scale with 100 employees equating to 10 points. However, if a company has 200 employees, they will be given 20 points.
The index is based on a formula that rates each company based on the self-reported data provided to UMKC’s Tech Venture Studio and Startland News. The index takes into account four data points from each company.
- Total funding raised (10-point scale based on $50 million; in other words, $50 million raised equals 10 points);
- Current number of employees (10-point scale based on 100 employees);
- Two-year average annual revenue growth rate (5-point scale based on a sliding scale in relation to longevity, 1000 percent for two-year-old companies to 100 percent for 10-year old companies); and
- Longevity (2.5-point scale based on 10 years).
Each company’s four category scores are combined to compute their KC Growth Index score.
NOTE: This entire article was sourced from Startland News.