One of KC’s top small businesses markets explosive growth into new key investor: former Mobank CEO
On the heels of Crux KC doubling its square footage in January and growing its headcount 118 percent since June 2020, the marketing firm — one of the KC Chamber’s Top 10 Small Businesses — announced a significant investment this week by Grant Burcham, former Mobank CEO.
“I’ve long valued Grant’s business acumen and insight as a leader, which makes it all the more meaningful that he’s invested in the future growth of Crux,” Melea McRae, Crux’s founder and CEO, said of the undisclosed deal.
Burcham’s investment enables the company to continue its growth trajectory, which has already hit a 50 percent revenue increase for the first half of 2021, according to Crux. With the investment, Crux’s top priorities are to hire new team members, offer additional employee perks and expand to a larger office space, all necessities to accommodate its growth strategy, the company said.
Crux already has added 12 employees to its roster since January in anticipation of 60 percent revenue growth by the end of 2021. After upgrading to a 2,500-square-foot office earlier this year, Crux recently re-leased a separate space in the same building to accommodate its rapidly expanding team.
The company is currently on the hunt for its new permanent home in the downtown Kansas City area.
Click here to learn more about Crux KC.
“We’re approaching our five-year anniversary in July, fueled by the recent successes and all the momentum,” McRae said. “Because of this partnership, we can move forward sooner than expected with several strategic investments that we planned to make in 2022, thereby better serving our clients. We’re just getting started.”
Crux’s rapid growth trajectory, as well as Burcham’s belief in the importance of marketing, were both factors that compelled him to invest, the company said. Following another recent investment in the IT solutions company CyTek, Burcham plans to focus exclusively on helping these two local businesses grow for the foreseeable future.
Click here to read more about Burcham’s newly announced involvement with CyTek.
“Crux has a dynamic leader, a differentiated business model and a talented team; that’s the triple threat of success,” Burcham said. “The brand differentiation at Mobank prompted me to take a great interest in understanding the power of good marketing. The minute Melea and I started working together, I could see the energy, passion and success of the company — validated by the numbers — and I immediately saw the value in investing.”
Crux combines executive-level marketing and business strategy to provide a simple, smart and affordable outsourced marketing solution, according to the company.
Despite the pandemic, Crux increased its topline revenue by 40 percent in 2020, the company reported. Among its new local clients: Hoefer Welker, Morgan Hunter, Pipeline Entrepreneurs, the City of Mission, Kansas, CrossFirst Bank and SourceLink, as well as several in the Dallas market.
Wanting to give back to the community in a meaningful way, Crux also launched its pro-bono marketing services program last year, devoting $30,000 of marketing services free to one worthy nonprofit annually.
This year’s recipient is KC Shepherd’s Center (KCSC), a unique, peer-led platform of services aimed at helping senior Kansas Citians stay active, involved and independent.
The 2020 recipient was People of All Colors Succeed (POAC), a conversation starter working to build diverse communities grounded in understanding, acceptance and inclusion, and a future free from bullying.
Click here to read more about the efforts of Jamie Grayson and POAC.
Crux’s McRae recently was honored among the Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business 2021 class, and won the Enterprising Women of the Year Award in May.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation works to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.