Following the recently announced acquisition by Fortune 500 risk management company Assurant, Baltimore on-demand tech support startup Fixt will continue to operate under the same brand, and is retaining its team of 21 people.
“For the foreseeable future we intend to maintain the brand and will evaluate the best go-to-market solution as we continue our growth,” Fixt CEO Luke Cooper told Technical.ly. “We are focused on remaining an independent, healthy company focused on growth while also supplementing Assurant’s existing global service delivery network with our platform and network of technicians.”
Founded in 2014, the Fells Point-based company’s built that support platform and network of technicians to serve a roster of enterprise customers for device setup and repair. As one of the companies on the inaugural RealLIST Startups, it’s one we’ve watched as it built a base in Baltimore that attracted attention well beyond the city.
So why was now the right time for an acquisition?
“Simply put, because it allows us to return significant money to our investors and shareholders,” Cooper said. (Terms were not disclosed.) “Moreover, it will allow us to better fuel the demand for technology, security, and convenience thus enabling even greater adoption of the on-demand tech support category within the enterprise.”
The company has raised a total of $10.1 million from investors including Precursor Ventures, Naples Technology Ventures and Asterisk Ventures, which participated in its $6.5 million Series A.
To get there, Cooper described Fixt’s growth as a process of “constant review and editing.”
“There wasn’t any one particular factor rather a series of motions that broke down into rapid experimentation and tight feedback loops,” he said. “I encourage any entrepreneur to validate product-market fit at every stage of growth. It sometimes changes over time and you need to change your product with it, especially in a consolidated marketplace.”
In the announcement for the acquisition, Cooper was quoted as saying, “As a Black founder, I am extremely proud to join a company with such a strong commitment to diversity, inclusion and real equity.” In our follow-up Q&A, Cooper said he found that Assurant’s commitment started “at the top.”
At the Las Vegas consumer tech event CES, Cooper met with founder and CEO Alan Colberg. As they spoke for over an hour about topics from diversity to product to values, Cooper said, “it became clear through the conversation that if Fixt became part of Assurant, we would have a real seat at the table.” He also soon found that Colberg signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, and is a member of the Business Roundtable, which last year issued a letter that redefined the purpose of a corporation as one to serve not just shareholders, but also workers and communities.
To Cooper, it added up to a living example of the mantra that “culture eats strategy for breakfast and dinner,” which is the lunch-forgoing founder’s takeoff on the famous Peter Drucker quote that speaks to the importance of centering a company’s shared attitudes and values. Within two months, they had a letter of intent signed for the acquisition.-30-
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