Only a few weeks after closing on its first $10 million, the KCRise Fund announced Wednesday that it has invested in its first Kansas City-area companies.
Launched in February in conjunction with the KC Rising economic initiative, the KCRise Fund is joining ongoing investment rounds in SpiderOak and Innara Health. The fund, led by Darcy Howe, did not disclose the amount of each investment or the total size of the firms’ rounds.
“SpiderOak and Innara Health got our attention early on and we are so excited to play a role in their future success,” Howe said in a release. “The KCRise Fund is officially on its way to making capital more accessible to our home-based entrepreneurs.”
Data security firm Spideroak has closed on a $1.25 million investment round to which the KCRise Fund has contributed $500,000. The Mission-based firm will use the capital to expand out its sales and marketing operations.
A neonatal health tech firm, Innara Health is in the process of raising $1.5 million of which they’ve secured $1.25 million, according to its most recent SEC filing. Startland News has reached out to both firms to confirm the status of their investment rounds.
The KCRise fund was created as a solution to the regional challenge of accessing capital. The fund aims to grow to $20 million.
To qualify for the KCRise Fund, a firm must “have high growth potential” and must reside or have substantial operations between Manhattan, Kan. and Columbia, Mo. The firm must also be seeking at least $1 million in a Series A investment round and have an approved venture capital firm investor in the funding round.
Howe said that aside from providing financial support for promising startups, the fund also aims to help educate new Kansas City investors interested in early-stage investing.
“This is a modest but important step in helping Kansas City companies to grow,” Howe told Startland News. “The fund will also help the Kansas City corporate and individual investor community learn and have the experience to invest in early-stage companies.”
An investment banker of more than 30 years with Merrill Lynch, Howe previously said that the co-investment model reduces risk and streamlines the necessary due diligence to pull the trigger on an investment opportunity. Howe added that once the fund reaches its $20 million target, it will likely have a ripple effect in the local economy of more than $120 million in capital over a 10 year period.
Led by more than 200 volunteers, the KC Rising effort hopes to improve Kansas City’s economic standing after the region’s slow recovery from the great recession. The 10-year initiative will measure progress in three primary economic categories — gross regional product, number of quality jobs and median household income — against 30 cities of similar population.