Good morning, MBA readers,
Bungii just got a big boost toward its goal of nationwide expansion. The Kansas City-based startup, which makes an app for hailing trucks — think Uber, but for pickups — raised $9.4 million in a new funding round. Elsewhere, Stifel Financial continued its string of acquisitions with the purchase of an advisory firm. Plus, one of the most prolific St. Louis barbecue joints is expanding to one of the fastest-growing cities in Missouri. Scroll down for these stories and other top business news from around the state.
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From our newsroom
In neighborhoods where fresh food is scarce, urban farmers grow their own
Urban agriculture is practiced by 800 million people worldwide, including a growing number in Missouri. Especially in places where food security is a pressing concern, some people are turning to gardening to help feed themselves.
KC Fed report shows surge in black-women-owned businesses, lingering capital challenges
Since 2002, the number of businesses owned by black women has increased by 179%, making black women the fastest-growing demographic of business owners, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
Customer data being sold online may be linked to Hy-Vee
Credit and debit card information stolen from Hy-Vee stores may be the source of 5.3 million accounts being offered for sale online, an IT security analyst says. Hy-Vee, which notified customers on Aug. 14 that their data may be compromised, has not yet specified which stores were impacted. (Des Moines Register)
Stifel to buy Cleveland advisory firm
St. Louis investment bank Stifel Financial plans to acquire B&F Capital Markets, a Cleveland-based firm that advises regional and community banks. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Maryland Heights board considers 218-unit apartment complex
The Maryland Heights Planning Commission will consider a 218-unit apartment complex on a 4.75-acre property that used to be a fitness center. If the commission greenlights the project, it will go before city council. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
$30 million development will yield 27 homes, apartment building in St. Louis
A housing development backed by philanthropist Emily Rauh Pulitzer will create 27 single-family homes and a 35-unit apartment building in St. Louis’ Grand Center Arts District. Work will begin this fall on four model homes, with each house designed by a different architect. (St. Louis Public Radio)
Sugarfire to add 14th store in Wentzville
St. Louis-based barbecue chain Sugarfire will open a 14th location in Wentzville this November. It will be the fifth Sugarfire restaurant for franchisees Matt Martin and Jim Cook. (St. Louis Business Journal)
That’s how much Kansas City startup Bungii has raised in an oversubscribed Series A funding round, Startland News reports. The recent round included old supporters as well as two Silicon Valley angel investors. About 95% of the funding came from local investors such as C2FO CEO Sandy Kemper and KC Rise, which announced last week that Bungii was one of three portfolio companies joining its second fund. With the funding in hand, Bungii, a truck-hailing app, plans to continue its expansion to cities nationwide.
Say that again
“One thing people use to measure success is how many cranes a city has overhead. You can point to the cranes and say, ‘This is a very progressive, innovative city under development.’ But I think the larger point is to count where the cranes are, and that’s telling you where the development really is. It’s telling you where the innovation is.”
That’s Hire KC’s program director William Dowdell, who recently joined a panel on “building innovation hubs” during an Innovation Exchange event by Startland News. The panel discussed how to responsibly create innovation districts, particularly for those set within existing, distressed communities. Dowdell and his fellow panelists underscored the importance of bringing opportunity and innovation to overlooked parts of Kansas City.
Hello, my name is
This maker of high-performance fuel systems is expanding in terms of office space and product offerings, the Kansas City Business Journal reports. The Lenexa, Kansas-based company will retain its main building and expand into an adjoining space. It will also add to its lineup of aftermarket fuel systems to accommodate small off-road vehicles and ATVs.
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.