San Francisco-based tech firm Friendmedia is expected to relocate its headquarters to Kansas City in 2020 amidst $1.5 million funding round, said Nick Magruder.
“Our goal is to take advantage of all the great things that Kansas City brings to the table with all the great people, the low cost of living and everything that comes with that,” said Magruder, CEO of cloud-based digital marketing firm — founded in 2014 — that focuses on engaging customers in waiting rooms with Friendmedia displays and tablets.
Click here to learn more about Friendmedia, an in-practice patient engagement solution that allows physicians to customize their promotional content to drive revenue and grow their brand through a network of office-based TVs and tablets.
Originally a KC native, Magruder initially moved to California after becoming recruited in 2015 by Friendmedia’s original founder, Jeff Li, to drive the startup’s commercialization initiatives as well as pivot the focus of the company to health care, he said.
Having spent significant time in the Bay area, Magruder realized the barriers to growth caused by the high coastal cost of living and cost of talent.
“We just looked at the analysis of what we could do in Kansas City, and we are very confident that we can find equivalent talent at a much lower cost,” he added.
Introducing a new tech firm into the Kansas City fold while continuing to “push the envelope in the marketing industry” are a part of the eventual value-add to the area,” he said.
“The capital we raise is going to be supporting hiring [in Kansas City] and the market here,” Magruder added.
The move to Kansas City is expected to bring about a new era of operations for Friendmedia, he said, noting a push for clients in more industries and cities.
“We really need to take advantage of the Midwest and scale the business,” he added.
With 95 percent of the startup currently focused on cosmetic surgery companies, Friendmedia is considering clients from animal health and hospital groups to salons and hotel chains, Magruder said, noting the structure of the startup in working with industry manufacturers as well as providers makes for a more dynamic pool of potential clients.
“There’s the same thing we see [with cosmetic-focused companies] in terms of a lack of education, awareness and engagement. They’re doing the same thing in animal science,” he said. “We’re looking to pilot that starting in mid-July in the animal space where we deploy the TVs in the waiting rooms or interactive tablets inside of the exam rooms. We use this as a tool to elevate the overall awareness of all the services that are available [from the client].”
“Really our total potential market is all brick and mortar [companies,]” Magruder said. “Right now we’re really focused on health care, but there’s tremendous opportunity to grow from there.”