Lob, a startup based in San Francisco offering a cloud-based API platform, bagged $7 million in Series A funding led by Polaris Partners. Other investors who participated include First Round Capital, Floodgate, as well as several individual investors.
Lob expects to use this capital to expand their company by increasing their employees, building new APIs, and increasing their market reach to international territories like UK and Australia. They also plan to introduce new features to their APIs like tracing and tracking of items along with address verification.
Lob was co-founded in 2013 by Leore Avidar and Harry Zhang. Both have a lot of expertise in building cloud-based products, having worked at Amazon Web Services and Microsoft respectively. Therefore, it was a no brainer for them to start a company offering cloud-based products. They received a seed funding of $2.4 million in November last year from Polaris Partners, First Round Capital, Floodgate, and Y Combinator. The other significant individual investors were Sam Altman, Kevin Hale, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, Paul Buchheit, Joshua Schachter and Dalton Caldwell.
With the world having turned to digital products, traditional services like snail mail may seem obsolete. However, they are down but not out. Lob has turned the tables to create an effective way to handle printing and mailing services especially for businesses. They have developed a sturdy platform for developers with an array of print and mail APIs. Developers will access a complete package of print products, base infrastructure, and developing tools to create applications.
How it works
Lob simply takes over the printing and mailing task from the business in question. All a business needs to do is to send an API request with all the printing content and the accompanying destination address. Lob then prints out the material and mails it to the forwarded address within days anywhere in the world. As they say, it is as easy as sending an email. The platform does not have a limit on the quantity of printing materials. Users are also allowed to increase or decrease their order at will. Lob accepts printing content like letters, postcards, checks, posters, photos and many other print products.
During the announcement, Leore Avidar, one of the co-founders gave credence to their product saying, “Lob is squarely focused on building the infrastructure that exists for email for physical mail. Our API allows customers to focus on their core offerings and not have to deal with traditional mail houses and the outdated problems that exist with working with them. Companies that use our product can send mail as effortlessly as sending an email. We had a great deal of interest from a broad base of potential investors and are very excited about working with this syndicate led by Polaris, given the value these firms bring to the table.”
Lob charges for its services using a pay-as-you-use model. Their platform is not only cost-effective but also easily scalable and highly flexible. A simple postcard to be mailed within the country costs 70 per piece while a simple black and white printout costs 95 cents.
Lob claims to have over 3500+ customers since they launched in 2013. Some of their customers include Intuit, Porch, and Ubiquiti Networks.
As part of the deal, Pat Kinsel of Polaris Partner will join Lob’s Board of Directors. He is very optimistic about the future of Lob. In a statement, he said in part, “Leore and Harry are building the web’s print API layer. They bring to the table both the market vision and technical prowess to embrace this current opportunity while at the same time being able to see the places the company could go.”