The Top Venture Capital-Backed Companies List recognizes the momentum pushing an emerging cohort of Kansas City growth-stage, venture-backed companies.
The list of Kansas City’s Top VC-Backed Companies is the jumping off point for a series of Startland analysis pieces, breaking down the trends behind the numbers. Click here to subscribe to Startland and get these follow-up reports as they go live.
Simply put, the list — updated and now published annually — shows a massive increase in venture capital deployed to Kansas City companies in 2019, as well as a significant jump in jobs at those businesses. Click here for more specifics on the leading takeaways from this report.
It is important to note that this is not a top 10 list but a comprehensive data set of self-reported information from every company that meets the following criteria and responded to our call for data:
- Raised at least $1 million;
- Raised capital from at least one institutional venture investor;
- Raised a round of capital within the past three years (since July 1, 2016);
- Pre-exit; and
- Physically headquartered in the 18-county greater Kansas City region as defined by the KCADC.
Click here to see notable statistics pulled from this year’s data.
Finally, the default order for the list is the KC Growth Index (also explained below the list) which is an effort to create a fair and significant way to order the companies.
NOTE: On desktop or laptop, feel free to sort by the different columns, click the “expand” icon next to each company name for a company summary and click “view larger version” in the bottom right corner for a full-screen view. On mobile, click on each company for a company summary.
* denotes new company on the list. Click here to understand how the KC Growth Index is calculated.
- 61 total companies; 19 new companies, six companies dropped from the list.
- 29 companies were founded between 2012 and 2014; 15 before and 17 after.
Average company profile:
- 30.3 employees (up 17.9 percent from 25.7 in 2018)
- $17.71 million raised (up 44.2 percent from $12.28 million)
- 53 percent raised from Kansas City-area investors (down from 54 percent)
- 277 percent two-year average annual revenue growth (down from 378 percent)
- 6.0 years old (up from 5.1)
Complete list totals:
- 1,668 total employees (up 44.2 percent from 1,157 in 2018)
- 1,207 Kansas City employees (73.4 percent of total) *first year collecting this data
- $902.98 million raised (up 88.6 percent from $478.75 million)
- $234.27 million raised from KC-area investors (up 72.1 percent from $136.12 million)
- Five companies have more than 100 employees — C2FO, Bardavon, Backlot Cars, Mylo and Rx Savings Solutions — as compared to two in 2018 — C2FO and Bardavon.
- 23 companies have 20 or more employees as compared to 16 companies in 2018.
- Kansas companies have raised more than twice as much capital ($26.2 million) on average than Missouri companies ($12.1 million) despite Missouri companies averaging nearly three times as much funding as 2018 ($4.7 million).
- Missouri companies have on average raised 54 percent of their funding from Kansas City-area investors as compared to 52 percent by Kansas companies, after Missouri companies reported raising 15 percent more of their capital from KC-area investors in 2018.
- 30 companies have raised 50 percent or more of their capital from KC-area investors, 25 have raised less than 50 percent.
- Of the 10 companies with the most reported capital raised, only one (Bardavon) has raised more than 40 percent of their capital from KC-area investors.
Missouri vs. Kansas:
- 12 of the 16 companies on the list founded in 2015 or later are Missouri companies.
- 33 companies are headquartered in Missouri (10 more than 2018) and 27 in Kansas (two more than 2018)
- Kansas companies are on average 1.65 years older than Missouri companies.
- Kansas companies average 50 percent more employees than Missouri companies — 35 employees to 23.3 employees respectively; down from 104 percent in 2018.
- Founder demographics:
- 113 founders
- 14 women (12.3 percent)
- 14 non-white (12.3 percent)
- CEO demographics
- 60 CEOs (DivvyHQ has co-CEOs)
- 8 women (13.1 percent)
- 7 non-white (11.5 percent)
Click here to see the 2018 Top VC-Backed Companies List.
Explaining the KC Growth Index
Startland established the KC Growth Index to organize this list in a fair and significant way. The evaluation system doesn’t solely prioritize capital raised, but instead creates a more comprehensive snapshot of venture-backed companies in the Kansas City area based on capital raised, number of employees, two-year average annual revenue growth rate and longevity.
The KC Growth Index calculation was tweaked this year so a company’s score is now comparable year-to-year. It is based on a 27.5-point scale but a company can exceed 27.5 points. For example, employee count is based on a 10-point scale with 100 employees equating to 10 points. However, if a company has 200 employees, they will be given 20 points.
The index is based is a formula that rates each company based on the self-reported data provided to Startland. The index takes into account four data points from each company.
- Total funding raised (10-point scale based on $50 million; in other words, $50 million raised equals 10 points);
- Current number of employees (10-point scale based on 100 employees);
- Two-year average annual revenue growth rate (5-point scale based on a sliding scale in relation to longevity, 1000 percent for two-year- old companies to 100 percent for 10-year old companies); and
- Longevity (2.5-point scale based on 10 years).
Funding score calculation: Bardavon has raised $41.45 million. On a 10-point scale based on $50 million, their funding score is 8.290 (41.45/50*10). Health Outcomes Sciences at $14.60 million has a funding score of 2.920.
Employee score calculation: BacklotCars has 118 employees. On a 10-point scale based on 100 employees, their employee score is 11.800. RiskGenius at 24.5 employees has an employee score of 2.450.
Two-year average growth score calculation: Bungii has a two-year annual growth rate of 809 percent. On a 5-point scale based on 700 percent growth for four-year-old companies, their growth score is 5.779. Rx Savings Solutions at 75 percent growth has a growth score of 3.750 on a 5-point scale based on 100 percent growth for 11-year-old companies..
Longevity calculation: Super Dispatch was founded six years ago. On a 2.5-point scale based on 10 years, their longevity score is 1.500. SMRxT, at nine years old, has a longevity score of 2.250.
Each company’s four category scores are combined to compute their KC Growth Index score.
NOTE: Companies that didn’t disclose certain information received zero points in that particular category.