Marquee’s successes for two state “Show Me” companies, including a large funding round for one fast-growing govtech company in Kansas City, demonstrate the value of Missouri Technology Corporation’s early-stage investment programs, state and agency officials said Thursday.
A key example they touted: PayIt, a SaaS platform that facilitates interactions between government agencies and the public that last week announced a $90 million investment from Macquarie Capital — a move that saw Kansas City-based PayIt buy out some of its previous investors, according to MTC.
Click here to learn more about PayIt funding announcements.
MTC first invested in PayIt in 2016 and made additional, smaller investments in 2018. PayIt has grown to a staff of more than 100 people at its headquarters in downtown Kansas City and is a leader in the region’s emerging GovTech sector, which includes companies such as TicketRx, Dopplerand mySidewalk.
“MTC’s investment was instrumental in PayIt’s early growth and product development, preparing us for the recent growth capital investment we received,” said Mike Plunkett, co-founder, COO and CFO of PayIt. “We are proud to be a part of the dynamic technology community here in Missouri and contribute to the state’s continued economic growth.”
A new report from the Chicago company M25 — the 2022 Midwest Startup Cities Ranking — Kansas City rose from No. 12 to No. 11, thanks in large part to Missouri’s renewed commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and startups. (St. Louis continues to hold a strong position at No. 5.)
Click here to learn more about Kansas City’s ranking, as well as comments about the ecosystems of Columbia, Missouri, and neighboring Wichita and Topeka.
In addition to signing the budget, what allocates $31 million to the MTC for fiscal year 2023, Missouri Governor Mike Parson also designated the Department of Economic Development (DED) and MTC as the entities responsible for administering the state’s $97 million in federal appropriations through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). SSBCI is the only program funded by the America’s Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) that allows states to invest in companies with potential growth potential through a state-sponsored venture capital program.
On Aug. 1, Missouri’s current strategy yielded a return on investment again when 65 percent of St. Louis-based CCI, a developer of commercial oilseed crop rotations to provide winter and spring ground cover between corn harvest and soybean planting, was acquired by Bayer.
MTC first invested in CCI in 2014 and has made a total of five investments in the company, including a 2021 Series B led by Bunge Ventures. (Following Benson Hill’s IPO in 2021Bayer’s acquisition of a majority stake in CCI is another success for Missouri-based agritech investors, the agency said.)
According to news in recent weeks, MTC’s investments in PayIt and CCI have generated a cumulative eight-fold return on investment, which the agency said will be used to support further growth in the state’s entrepreneurial capacity.
“Missouri Technology Corporation has a successful track record of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through its venture capital programs,” said Governor Parson. “Strengthening the technological sector of our state is vital for the stability of our economy. We are proud to see Missouri-based companies like CCI and PayIT succeed, demonstrating the significant return on investment our state receives by supporting new high-tech businesses.”
MTC’s IDEA co-investment program promotes the creation and growth of businesses that use science and technology to create jobs. MTC seeks matching funding to ensure that investments are made in Missouri’s most attractive early stage investment opportunities.
The program also helps fund events like the popular LaunchKC grant competition, which is set to return to Kansas City this fall for the first time since 2018.
Click here to learn more about LaunchKC’s upcoming competition, which opens applications on August 15.
Over the past decade, MTC has invested more than $45 million in nearly 140 emerging technology companies that have raised more than $1.1 billion in additional capital. More than 65 percent of investee companies are still active. According to the fiscal year 2021 annual report, the portfolio represents more than 1,000 full-time jobs, which includes more than 270 new jobs created in fiscal year 2021.
“As identified in the Catalyzing Innovation Report released in February, MTC’s activities have had a strong impact on the state,” said Jack Scatizzi, MTC’s executive director. “This impact was largely driven by successful direct investment activity through our public venture capital program. The portfolio has created new and high-paying jobs for Missourians and returned the organization’s capital to redeploy in the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.”
Click here to learn more about MTC, a public-private partnership created to foster entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies.