IDEA FUND PARTNERS ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT IN FLORIDA-BASED 71 Lbs
Company Turns Shipping Insights into Instant Savings
DURHAM, NC − February 19, 2013 − IDEA Fund Partners, a venture capital firm providing seed and early stage financing to technology companies throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, is pleased to announce its recent investment in 71 Lbs, an innovative technology firm that helps companies collect the money-back, on-time guarantees offered by shipping companies. 71Lbs’ analytics will make it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to easily understand their parcel shipping spend and make better business decisions through graphs, charts and dashboards. Investing alongside OCA Ventures, Tamiami Angel Fund and Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago), the funds will enable the company to accelerate product development and expand marketing efforts.
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 71 Lbs is a platform that automatically audits, applies for and recovers refunds for the money-back guarantees (MBG) offered by FedEx and UPS. 71 Lbs allows shipping customers to recover 4-6% of their parcel spending, without the tedious process of auditing and applying for refunds directly. The Company’s “set-and-forget” system enables SMB clients to easily and effortlessly collect the $2+ billion left on the table each year in unclaimed late shipment refunds. Customers simply provide 71 Lbs with their shipping credentials and 71 Lbs does the rest – monitoring deliveries and collecting refunds for those shipments that are not delivered on-time. Best of all, the customers are only charged when they receive their refunds. There are no sign-up fees, monthly fees or contracts; 71 Lbs simply collects a percentage of the refunds the customer receives.
“We have seen how large shippers operate, but more importantly, have been shippers ourselves, and have experienced their pain points and challenges,” says 71 Lbs 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. 71 Lbs sets out to sift through the systems and shipments, getting customers the refunds they deserve.”
“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,” said John Cambier, IDEA Fund Partners Managing Partner. “We are happy to now have 71 Lbs in our investment portfolio and look forward to working alongside Jose and his team as they seek to democratize shipping and logistics for SMBs.”
71 Lbs is IDEA Fund Partners’ second investment in Florida, joining GradSave which was announced earlier this year. The Fund believes that the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Florida aligns well with its investment strategy. The availability of ideas, innovation and talent for new company formation in Florida exceeds the availability of early stage capital, presenting a unique opportunity for investment. The Fund is active in the state, most notably with the Florida IDEA grant program, and maintains an office in Orlando with one Venture Partner and two Operating Partners based in central Florida.
In conjunction with the investment, IDEA Fund Partners Managing Partner, John Cambier, will join the board of 71 Lbs.
About IDEA Fund Partners
Headquartered in Durham, NC, IDEA Fund Partners provides seed and early stage equity funding along with company building expertise to IT, software, materials technologies and medical device companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Currently investing out of its first fund, IDEA Fund Partners has invested in fourteen companies since 2007. Learn more at www.ideafundpartners.com.
About 71 Lbs
71 Lbs is a technology company with a “set-and-forget” system that allows for customers to easily and automatically collect their FedEx and UPS late-shipment refunds. 71 Lbs helps SMBs to easily understand their parcel shipping spend and make better business decisions. The Company helps clients recover an average of 4-6% on a no risk, contingent fee basis. For more information, visit www.71lbs.com