EasyPost drags the postage stamp into the 21st century

By Nathaniel Mott , written on February 8, 2013

From The News Desk

It's hard out there for a stamp. The little square pictures of Elvis or bald eagles or some president or another used to have enviable job security, guaranteed usage across the United States every day but Sunday. Now, in addition to the United States Postal Service's announcement that it will cease Saturday deliveries this year and crows for even fewer deliveries, the stamp faces another problem: It's too goddamn hard to get one when you need one.

That's the premise behind EasyPost, a postage-as-a-service (yeah, I went there) startup that has raised a $300,000 seed round from SV Angel and CrunchFund (both of which are investors in PandoDaily) to help businesses get postage when they need it. The service currently integrates with USPS, but plans to support international carriers and premium carriers, like UPS and FedEx, in the future.

"Postage is a lot like payments before Stripe or telephony before Twilio," EasyPost co-founder Jarrett Streebin says. Businesses that need to rapidly purchase large quantities of postage -- like, say, an e-commerce business that has to ship hundreds or thousands of products every day -- have to deal with what Streebin calls "painful" layers of APIs only to have their integrations "come to fruition" in as many as 2 to 6 weeks.

Streebin co-founded EasyPost with Jon Calhoun in September after experiencing the pain of current postage APIs firsthand. "I'm not an excellent Web developer, and that's part of why I was like 'Oh, we should solve this,'" Streebin says. "I couldn't figure it out, and I knew that others couldn't as well." So he and Calhoun founded EasyPost and set out to build an API enabling businesses to get postage without pain and frustration.

EasyPost sees itself as a shipping company, and Streebin hopes to unify shipping and help businesses manage all of their shipments, both domestic and international, in a more efficient and intuitive way. This broader vision allows the company to weather things like the USPS' financial troubles -- EasyPost doesn't plan to rely on any one carrier so much as it plans to make shipping easier with every carrier.

People need packages delivered. Businesses need to deliver those packages in a timely, efficient fashion. That's what EasyPost is trying to do, and so long as it stays focused on those two truisms, it may find itself with better job security than, well, a stamp.

[Image courtesy jk5854]