Postmaster, an Austin-based startup that aims to simplify shipping and parcel tracking through an easy to use REST API, launched earlier this year and today, the company announced that it has raised a seed investment round of $600,000 led by Capital Factory, Cloud Power and Zelkova Ventures, as well as a consortium of angel investors. The Postmaster team plans to use this additional funding – it launched as a member of the last TechStars Cloud class – to expand its development team and build additional carrier integrations.
With Postmaster, e-commerce developers and merchants can easily add shipping features to their existing solutions. The service, for example, allows users to quickly compare rates across FedEx, UPS, Lone Star Overnight Canada Post and the USPS. This allows shippers to figure out what’s the fastest and most cost-effective way to ship a given parcel because the aggregate data Postmaster collects allows it to predict point-to-point shipping times for any given carrier. That’s data that companies like Amazon have for their shipping operations, but that’s not typically available to small businesses. Postmaster also, of course, allows its users to create shipping labels through its API and offers tracking, reporting and auditing tools.
The company also today announced that it has partnered with Lone Star Overnight (LSO), a shipping company that focuses on overnight deliveries to Texas, Oklahoma, western Louisiana and southern New Mexico (and which has partnerships to serve all of California and Mexico, too). Using Postmaster, LSO’s customers now get access to all of its services through a white-labeled portal.
This marks Postmaster’s first integration with a shipping carrier. “Our partnership with Lone Star Overnight is a win-win for everyone involved ,” said Jesse Lovelace, CEO and Co-Founder of Postmaster in a prepared statement today. “Postmaster will gain access to a wealth of shipping data instantly for even greater route optimization – not only for LSO customers, but for all Postmaster merchants. Additionally, this is the first simple and truly cross-carrier portal on the market for the public, solving some inherent issues that result from how siloed the carriers have traditionally been from one another.”
Shipping is obviously a pretty hot area right now, but the focus has mostly been on same-day shipping, with Google, for example, buying BufferBox and launching its Shopping Express service, eBay testing same-day delivery in Chicago and Dallas and startups like Deliv trying to bring same-day delivery services to even more businesses and customers. ShipHawk, a TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 Startup Alley audience choice winner, is also looking to make a dent in the shipping market, but unlike Postmaster, which focuses more on developers, Shiphawk targets consumers and small businesses directly.