Zumbox, the company which delivers your postal mail online in a digital format, has just closed a $10 million Series C round of funding, bringing its total raise to date to $28 million. The round included participation from Zumbox CEO John Payne, who put in his own money, as well as additional funding from Computershare, a joint venture partner in Australia. Details of the split among investors were not immediately available.
In addition to Computershare, Zumbox is also available through TransCentra, DST Output, KUBRA, Ricoh Production Print Solutions, Systemware and others, as well as on a direct basis.
Launched in 2009, Zumbox has been positioned as a digital alternative to the Post Office, allowing users to send and receive scanned letters, bills and other things you would typically send through traditional snail mail. After sign up, you can begin receiving mail from those mailers who support digital versions and you can log into to your online Zumbox at any time to view this mail in its digital format. Once you’re comfortable with the system, you can then switch off the paper versions for any given mailer on a case-by-case basis.
Following its launch, the company announced that it had raised $8 million from several high-profile investors in August 2009, including Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Walt Disney, and Rick Braddock, the former CEO of Priceline.com. Other investors include Bill Guthy and Shelter Capital Partners.
At the beginning of this year, Zumbox partnered with Catalog Choice, a non-profit website that lets users opt out of getting print marketing catalogs. Through the agreement, Zumbox’s users could unsubscribe from unwanted physical mail directly through their Zumbox account. At the time of the announcement, the company said they had reached ”over 10 times the number of members” since June 2011, but didn’t reveal exact figures. Today, still, the company touts its reach as being “120,000,000 consumer households,” but this is because Zumbox has set up mailboxes for U.S. households in anticipation of their membership. It also operates elsewhere in the world through licensing agreements via a subsidiary, Zumbox Software, Inc., we should note.
In May, the company introduced an iOS application which lets user view their digital mail from their iPhone or iPad.
Arguably, much of the usefulness provided by a digital mailing system has been offloaded to online banking and its associated bill pay features, now common. That leaves only catalogs and advertisements. Given the above announcement, it seems people want to opt out of those, too. (In fact, there are even cool mobile apps like PaperKarma that let you cut down on junk mail.) So the system that once hoped to digitize your mail is now the system that helps you stop receiving it. Uh-oh.
We’ve reached out to the company to see if it’s interested in talking traction in more detail, in terms of supported mailers, size of membership and growth rates, but we’re still waiting to hear back. (Will update when/if that happens.)
According to a statement, the company says it plans to use the new capital to fund operations, sales, marketing, and development of its platform in the U.S.
UPDATE 1:40 PM ET: Here’s what we’ve learned so far. Computershare is leading the round, with participation from some of the previous investors. However, the company isn’t releasing details or the split. The company is also declining to reveal its consumer base, but says it’s “significant and growing.”