The KCRise Fund announced two investments in area firms Thursday to round out its 2016.
Launched in February in conjunction with the KC Rising economic initiative, the KCRise Fund joined ongoing investment rounds in tech firms PEQ and Dunami.
Kansas City-based PEQ is an Internet of Things service enabler that created an operating system for IoT device management. Overland Park-based Dunami created a big data analytics platform designed to offer companies the insights into their business.
While not disclosing the value of their investments, KCRise Fund manager Darcy Howe said she’s thrilled to close the year on a high note.
“The KCRise Fund is ending its first year strong with these most recent commitments, and a third soon to be announced, bringing our total 2016 commitment to more than $2 million,” Howe said in a release. “We are so proud to support some of the Kansas City region’s most promising entrepreneurs and their companies and look forward to finding additional investments in 2017.”
The KCRise fund was created as a solution to the regional challenge of accessing capital. Now with more than $10 million in its coffers, the fund aims to grow to $20 million. KCRise previously invested in SpiderOak and Innara Health.
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.
Now with four deals under its belt, Howe’s fund represents a local surge of activity in early-stage business investment. KCRise Fund, Firebrand Ventures, Royal Street Ventures and a few other funds have launched offices or made startup investments in the Kansas City area in 2016.
“We are delighted and honored to have the opportunity to invite the KCRise Fund into the PEQ ownership structure,” PEQ CEO Scott Ford said in a release. “Kansas City is clearly a hub for IoT and to have the community involved directly through KCRise is a great advantage to us.”
Dunami CEO Pat Butler echoed Ford’s excitement.
“At Dunami, we are excited to have the opportunity to partner with KCRise and local investors as we work to revolutionize the way organizations leverage social media and their own data to grow their business.”