Two Missouri companies receiving significant early-stage investments from the IDEA Fund Co-Investment Program, CoverCress, Inc. (CCI), and PayIt, recently closed transactions that included buying out their investors. Sixty-five percent of St. Louis-based CCI was acquired by Bayer, while Kansas City’s PayIt received a $90 million growth investment from Macquarie Capital. MTC’s investments in both companies generated a cumulative eightfold return on investment, which will be used to support the continued growth of the state’s entrepreneurial capacity.
“The Missouri Technology Corporation has a successful track record of driving innovation and entrepreneurship through its venture capital programs,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Strengthening our state’s technology sector is vital for the sustainability of our economy. We’re proud to see Missouri-made companies like CCI and PayIT find success, demonstrating the significant return on investment our state receives through supporting emerging high-tech businesses.”
MTC’s IDEA Co-Investment Program promotes the formation and growth of businesses using science and technology to create jobs. MTC requires a funding match to ensure that investments are made in Missouri’s most attractive early-stage investment opportunities. In the last decade, MTC has invested more than $45 million into nearly 140 emerging technology companies, which have raised more than $1.1 billion in additional capital. More than 65 percent of the companies invested in are still active. Based on annual reporting for Fiscal Year 2021, the portfolio represented more than 1,000 full-time jobs, which includes more than 270 new jobs created in FY2021.
“As identified in the Catalyzing Innovation Report published in February, MTC’s activities have had a strong impact on the state,” said Jack Scatizzi, Executive Director of MTC. “Most of that impact has been driven by successful direct investment activities through our state-sponsored venture capital program. The portfolio has created new and higher paying jobs for Missouri residents and has returned capital back to the organization to again be deployed throughout the state’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.”
Founded in 2013, St. Louis-based CCI has developed a rotational, oilseed cash crop to provide winter and spring soil cover between corn harvest and soybean planting. MTC first invested in CCI in 2014 and has made a total of five investments in the company, including the 2021 Series B led by Bunge Ventures. Following the Benson Hill initial public offering in 2021, Bayer’s acquisition of majority ownership in CCI represents another success for Missouri-based agtech investors.
“At CCI, we attribute a large part of our recent success to the early-stage resources and investments provided by partners such as MTC”, said Mike DeCamp, President and CEO of CCI. “Investments in Missouri-based growth start-ups have enabled us to build a St. Louis-based company. The St. Louis region's start-up ecosystem has enabled us to create new, highly skilled jobs in the areas of science, engineering, technology, and commercial operations. As we prepare for our commercial entry and beyond, we look forward to creating even more employment opportunities for our region.”
PayIt is a software as a service (SaaS) provider of digital services that simplifies doing business with government agencies by consolidating hundreds of payments into one connected experience for residents. MTC first invested in PayIt in 2016 and made an additional, smaller investment in 2018. PayIt has grown to employ more than 100 people at its Kansas City headquarters and is a leader in the region’s emerging GovTech sector, which includes companies like TicketRx, Daupler, and mySidewalk.
“MTC’s investment was instrumental in PayIt’s early growth and product development, bringing us to readiness for the recent growth equity investment we received,” said PayIt co-founder, COO, and CFO Mike Plunkett. “We are proud to be a part of the dynamic tech community here in Missouri and to contribute to the state’s continued economic development.”
Last year Governor Parson also designated the Department of Economic Development (DED) and MTC as the entities responsible for administering the state’s $97 million federal allocation through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). SSBCI is the only American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)-funded program that allows states to invest in high-growth potential companies through a state-sponsored venture capital program.
About Missouri Technology Corporation
The Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC) is a public-private partnership created to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies. MTC’s vision is to transform Missouri through the power of entrepreneurship by serving as a catalyst for technology-based innovation. MTC helps achieve sustainable economic growth through leadership and strategic investments that help entrepreneurs create and grow technology businesses in Missouri.
To learn more about MTC, visit missouritechnology.com.