A $9.4 million oversubscribed Series A round isn’t just an investor vote of confidence in Bungii, said Ben Jackson. It’s a funding fuel-up as the tech startup shifts expansion plans into high gear on the road to becoming the final link in the big and bulky supply chain.
“By the end of 2021, we’ll still have some big mountains to climb, but in our vision, we’ll have a nationwide infrastructure in place, providing what we do best: on-demand, last-mile, large item delivery. That includes the labor, the vehicles, the drivers, the logistical IP, the platform technology — really end-to-end delivery value chain processing knowledge,” said Jackson, co-founder and president of Overland Park-based Bungii. “It’ll be one of the biggest sharing economy footprints in the entire United States. This niche that we found is and will continue to be highly disruptive.”
Click here to read why Bungii — founded in 2015 by Jackson and Harrison Proffitt — was selected as one of Startland’s Kansas City Startups to Watch in 2019.
Among the latest Bungii backers: a truckload of key returning supporters from previous investment syndicates (including Sandy Kemper, founder and CEO of C2FO); two veteran super angels from Silicon Valley; Cadron Capital Partners in Northwest Arkansas, a firm with deep connections to retail logistics behemoths in that region; and KCRise Fund, which last week announced Bungii was among the first three portfolio companies joining its second fund.
“KCRise Fund is the largest investor in companies being built in our immediate region,” said Jackson. “Their success in propelling portfolio company success in Fund I and Fund II makes them a valuable partner.”
Interest was so high in the funding round that Bungii turned down money from some potential backers, he added, noting an internal investor helped prime the engine for the Series A effort.
“When we initially sought to raise money, a member of our current investor syndicate pulled me aside for conversation, saying he was thrilled with the progress we’re making, he believes in the concept our team put together, and then he offered to step up and lead the round himself,” Jackson said of the undisclosed investor.
Averaging a 24 percent compound annual growth rate in gross revenue for 2019, Bungii found a local support base for its now-proven model as the startup continues its aggressive push nationwide, Jackson said. (It’s service is now available in Kansas City, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Miami.)
“Raising money is always painstakingly difficult. It’s one of the hardest things any entrepreneur does. It’s an absolute battle with each and every pitch,” Jackson detailed. “That said, we have a fantastic syndicate of investors with entrepreneurial experience — they understand it, they get it.”
Though Jackson was advised early to look toward Silicon Valley and New York for funding, he said, about 95 percent of the $9.4 million round came from Kansas City investors.
“This is proof that things are changing very quickly and is possible to raise money here,” Jackson said. “There are fantastic investors here. Spend some time in this area before looking to the coasts.”
News of the funding provides a milestone for Bungii, which had previously raised about $4 million, he noted, but the startup can’t lose sight of the bigger picture, Jackson said.
“I’ve given the metaphor that we just won our first game during March Madness, but we still have six more games to go until we win the national championship,” he said. “It’s time to get back in and execute. This stretch will be very exciting.”