Florida is turning out to be a good hunting ground for venture capital deals at IDEA Fund Partners.
The Durham-based early-stage fund joined a syndicate of three other investors in backing Florida-based 71lbs, a startup focused on helping clients collect money-back, on-time guarantees.
The deal is the second IDEA Fund has made in Florida this year and the third it has disclosed in 2013. All have been outside North Carolina.
71lbs uses analytics technologyto help small- and medium-sized businesses manage shipping choices – and to collect fees if deadlines or guarantees aren’t met.
Other investors include OCA Ventures, Tamiami Angel Fund and Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago).
71lbs is based in Fort Lauderdale.
“We have seen how large shippers operate, but more importantly, have been shippers ourselves, and have experienced their pain points and challenges,” says 71lbs founder Jose Li. Mr. Li has over 15 years of experience in the shipping, logistics and e-commerce industry, running FedEx’s $1 billion retail and e-commerce practice. “Hundreds of thousands of businesses receive late shipments from UPS and FedEx but never receive the reimbursements they are owed. We’re talking a $2 billion business in missed refunds. 71lbs sets out to sift through the systems and shipments, getting customers the refunds they deserve.”
John Cambier of IDEA Fund joins the 71lbs board as part of the deal.
“Jose is a veteran of the shipping and logistics industry and has built an innovative company to address the pain points he and other shippers have experienced,” Cambier said of the deal. “We are happy to now have 71lbs in our investment portfolio and look forward to working alongside Jose and his team as they seek to democratize shipping and logistics for SMBs.”