A Tampa-based venture capital firm run by three brothers sees investing in Kansas City’s PayIt as part of its long-term strategy.
Weatherford Capital first backed PayIt in 2016, through a $4.5 million Series A round led by New York-based Advantage Capital Partners, and followed by Weatherford, Royal Street Ventures, the Missouri Technology Corporation and Five Elms Capital.
The firm confirmed to Startland this week a follow-on investment of $25 million for the Kansas City GovTech innovator, which is led by co-founders John Thomson and Michael Plunkett.
Specializing in GovTech applications that better connect government to its constituents, PayIt made news in 2018 thanks to major partnerships with the State of Kansas and the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas. Its iKan app notably allows Kansas to skip the line at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
PayIt was named one of Startland’s 10 Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2017 and 2018.
“As investors, we seek out quality teams, leaders, and healthy cultures, not just assets and good ideas,” reads the investment firm’s website. “We believe that through long-term partnerships with purposeful capital and high-quality companies we will produce outcomes that promote human flourishing.”
Driven by Will, Sam, and Drew Weatherford, the firm has a nationwide focus on middle market firms with enterprise value of $50 million or more.
In March, PayIt made headlines with a more than $100 million investment by New York-based Insight Partners, which provided an exit for investors within the KCRise Fund.
Click here to read about the game-changing investment for PayIt and Kansas City.
“The company [PayIt] happens to be in Kansas City — Investors expect a return. They’re looking for big, scalable, durable businesses,” PayIt’s Thomson said at Startland’s May Innovation Exchange event. “You’ll hear the phrase ‘escape velocity’ — those that can turn into the next Fortune 500 company in a market or a category. It’s all about the execution of the business, the growth trajectory and how investable is that team and business.”
Meeting with more than 85 firms in its most recent funding push, however, PayIt saw rising interest not only in its GovTech offering, but in its hometown backing, he acknowledged.
“There’s a broad awareness of Kansas City, this ecosystem and this environment — and that it’s been on the rise,” Thomson said.