Editor’s note: Startland selected 12 Kansas City firms to spotlight for its annual Startups to Watch list. The following is one of 2019’s companies. Click here to view the full, ranked list of Startups to Watch.
Bungii’s elevator pitch: Bungii is an app that puts a pickup truck at your fingertips to help move, haul and deliver stuff around town. We’ve been compared to popular ride sharing app, but instead of moving people, we move people’s stuff.
From a humble, but bright and modern office overlooking a wooded area of Overland Park, Ben Jackson heaps praise upon his team at Bungii.
Founders: Ben Jackson, Harrison Proffitt
Founding year: 2015
Amount raised to date: $4 million
Noteworthy investors: Perceptive Equity, Platform Ventures, Sandy Kemper, Kevin Winkley
Current employee count: 18
His co-founder, Harrison Proffitt, is in Miami opening a new market — the fifth for the sharing economy startup. An original seed investor, Kevin Winkley, is now CFO, a veteran advisor who helps with day-to-day operations after running a $40 million division at EMC, and later building and selling two multi-million-dollar software companies.
“Our team combines young, hungry talent with a track record of proven success,” said Jackson, president and co-founder. “We all graduated from business school — for whatever that’s worth today — and really pursued our passion for being entrepreneurs. I could rattle off 100 reasons for why we’ll continue to execute at a high level, but the No. 1 thing going for us is simple: We just want it more.”
Take Josh Camacho, for example, Jackson said. At 23, Camacho — a fellow Kansas State University graduate — turned down a $130,000 salary and a West Coast promotion to join Bungii.
“At that time, we could only offer him a $30,000 salary, with no insurance, no benefits,” Jackson said. “We didn’t even have an office.”
Today, Camacho is Bungii’s vice president of operations — a critical role for a startup dependent not only on technology but on the logistics of a network of human drivers who respond to Bungii users’ requests for hauling assistance.
Click here to read more about the origins of Bungii.
“The world is changing and rapidly moving toward sharing economy on-demand models,” Jackson said. “You can see what Uber and Airbnb have done. The next major market to be completely reinvented is the delivery space. Bungii spent the past two years laying the foundation, and now the pieces are in place for us to rapidly scale. This is a $148 billion market and Bungii is disrupting it.”
Investors like the company’s exceptional revenue growth, he said.
“We averaged a 27 percent compounded monthly growth rate in gross revenue for 2018,” Jackson said. “In addition, we’ve signed agreements with national retail chains, including World Market, Big Lots and Costco. We’re operational in five major markets — all while maintaining a net promoter score of 87, which is 76 points above industry average.”
For context, he added: “Out of all the Fortune 500 companies, USAA has the highest net promoter score at 80.”
On the cusp of another major funding round, Bungii also is running multiple pilots with national brands, Jackson said. While the programs have been “extremely successful,” he said, details remain under wraps for now.
With Bungii operating in Kansas City, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and (as of December) Miami, Jackson said users can expect the startup to launch at least 10 additional major markets in 2019.
“By the end of the year, we should be operating coast to coast,” he said.