Startup and early-stage companies need capital to fuel growth. Studies in 2012 suggest that Kansas City lacked that capital. Published in June 2015, We Create Capital 2015 provided a clearer picture of the funding landscape for emerging and growth businesses in the Kansas City region and an action plan to address the gaps.
Since then, individuals and organizations across the Kansas City region have rallied to improve access to capital for area entrepreneurs. Kansas City continues to work to improve the capital landscape for early-stage companies.
Time frames are noted on each chart.
KCSourceLink tracks capital investments in KC-area entrepreneurial firms to determine if we are making progress with capital for early-stage companies. Data is pulled from a combination of public databases and private sources. We look at deals within a 100-mile radius of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Investment in KC-Area Companies
KCSourceLink tracks equity investments and grant funding to KC-area companies. We do this to determine if our efforts to build the pool of capital available to early-stage companies actually yields results in terms of investments in entrepreneurial firms.
In 2018 the overall number of deals and values slipped compared to 2017. Deals under $100,000 were down by 24, reflecting the ongoing need to support the early stage of the capital continuum.
Tracking equity funding can be more of an art form than a science. Data for these charts was pulled from various public sources and private databases, such as CB Insights, Cap IQ and PitchBook, as well as local media outlets and entrepreneur-reported figures. Numbers reported here are based on all known data as of Dec. 31, 2018.
We’ve chosen to report investments by amount rather than stages (seed, Series A, etc.) because those stages are defined differently by different sources. Data includes companies within a 100-mile radius of Kansas City, Missouri, roughly the Kansas City, MO-KS Combined Statistical Area and includes companies either headquartered in or with a significant percentage of operations in the Kansas City region.
Resources Are Important to Companies Raising Capital
KCSourceLink connects entrepreneurs and small business owners to a network of 240+ resources. Having access to the expertise of those business-building resources matters, especially when seeking funding.
Almost 80 percent of the companies who raised funding in 2018 received assistance from local entrepreneurial support organizations. For companies that raised less than $100,000, the percentage that received assistance was even higher: 83 percent.
KC Holds Steady in Peer City Ranking for Capital Investments
Compared to other peer cities, Kansas City ranked 12 out of 15 for total equity investments again in 2018.
The ranking suggests Kansas City still has a long way to go to increase access to capital for early-stage companies. Many investments go unreported.
(Note: This chart compares only investments captured by CBInsights; actual total investments in Kansas City are higher because investments are tracked from various public and private sources.)