A Family Crisis Motivated Luke Cooper. His Startup, Fixt, Just Raised $6.5M To Fix Broken Devices
Fixt, an online company that sends technicians to help people fix devices such as phones and tablets, has raised $6.5 million in new Series A funding for a total of $9.9 million in funding.
The funding round closed after a year of rapid growth, Baltimore Business Journal reported.
The Fixt platform connects individuals, companies and organizations with on-demand service technicians who can fix electronic devices, set up smart offices and replace devices.
Fixt founder and CEO Luke Cooper started the company in 2013 and has grown it to 20 employees with a network of 2,500 tech service professionals. The company is based in Baltimore, Maryland.
— Luke Cooper (@ReadySetGrind) March 27, 2018
#FoundersForChange is a movement to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech space. We want investors to adopt diversity mandates as well. They can diversity or keep their money. Internally we are doing the work as well. That’s why at Fixt we don't… https://t.co/ILSFZBL5ep
— Luke Cooper (@ReadySetGrind) March 22, 2018
Customers who use the Fixt service include T. Rowe Price Group Inc., Honeywell International Inc., and Coca-Cola.
The $6.5 million Series A funding round was led by San Francisco-based Precursor Ventures, founded by Managing Partner Charles Hudson. Other participants include Naples Technology Ventures, a VC firm based in Naples, Florida, and Asterisk Ventures.
Cooper’s motivation to be successful in business was fueled by his young daughter’s cancer diagnosis in 2014, he told Afro.com in a 2017 report.
Cooper was raised in Bridgeport, Conn. To call it an “underprivileged environment” is “putting it lightly,” he said. When a group of Fixt co-founders backed out early on, Cooper went on alone, and it turned out to be “the best thing possible,” he said. “We could not be where we are today if I had not shed some of those people.”
Launching Fixt overlapped with a family crisis.
“The year that we were shedding founders, my daughter, she was 4 then, got Stage 4 cancer,” Cooper told Afro.com. “She’s all better now, but that was certainly difficult. I made a conscious decision at that point that the best thing I could do for my daughter was to be as successful as I possibly could.”
Fixt recently landed new customers — U.S. Cellular, Applied Materials, Home Depot and the New York Police Department. The company sees added opportunities in 5G installation and support for connected devices, Technical.ly Baltimore reported.
“As an industry, we’re just scratching the surface of how powerful on-demand tech support can be when it’s combined with the massive scale offered by a global technician ecosystem,” Cooper said in a statement. “This financial support and domain expertise will help us execute our vision even more rapidly and broadly – and with the benefit of experience, perspective and relationships of a leading strategic investor in the mobility space.”
Fixt raised a $2 million seed round in 2017 led by Precursor Ventures. Two earlier seed rounds in 2016 totaling $1.4 million included participation from Connected Ventures, Harlem Capital Partners, Northern Right Capital, and Insure.VC.
Also in 2016, Fixt won a one-year sponsorship package in partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, worth about $210,000, after winning a pitch competition held during Light City, Baltimore Business Journals reported.
“My job is to find a way to broadcast as loud as I can my story,” Cooper told Afro.com, “and what I’ve been through and how it’s led me to my success as a way to encourage others to do the same thing. The next big story is in West Baltimore, East Baltimore, tucked away.”