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Florida Funders backs text-based shopping platform

Margie Manning



Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Florida Funders has invested an undisclosed amount in Stylust, a text commerce company that lets users make purchases via text.

Stylust is disrupting the $4 trillion retail sales market and the $2 trillion online ecommerce market, said Tom Wallace, managing partner of Tampa-based Florida Funders.

“We believe that Stylust’s innovative platform coupled with the acceleration of ecommerce due to Covid-19 has positioned them to become the text commerce platform of choice for consumers and businesses for years to come,” Wallace said in a news release.

Stylust text technoogy

Stylust is based in Austin, Texas, but will use proceeds from the latest funding round to hire talent in Florida, a spokesman for Florida Funders said. The company also is expanding its technology infrastructure.

Stylust has raised funding totaling more than $3 million since its launch in 2018.

Text is the newest channel to transact with users and is quickly becoming the preferred way to shop on mobile, according to the news release. Stylust users can buy anything via text, across product categories such as clothing, kitchen, fitness and tech, and retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Walmart, Sephra and AllBirds.

“Our users love the simple friction free shopping experience — one text to buy anything you need — while our retailer customers are quickly capturing new customers and increased sales. Text commerce is the future of retail and we’re excited to be leading the charge,” Melissa Bridgeford, CEO and founder of Stylust, said in the news release.

Stylust has more than 1,000 retail partners. Earlier this year, the company launched a business-to-business platform, which provides a white-label solution for retailers to transact directly with customers via text.

Merchants are embracing text to buy as a “conversational commerce” alternative, reported last week.

Florida Funders is a hybrid of a venture capital fund and an angel investor network. It is focused on discovering, funding, and building early-stage technology companies in the state.


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