Deals

Zumbox raises $9.7M to kill the post office with a digital mailbox

overstuffed mailboxZumbox, which provides its users with digital copies of their mail based on their home address, has raised an additional $9.7 million, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Zumbox lets users send or receive scanned, physical versions of letters, bills or other things they might normally send and receive via paper mail. Each user has a personal mailbox at the Zumbox site to view mail.

The company has created a digital mailbox for every street address in the U.S. So companies can send bills via Zumbox, and they look like scanned versions of the real paper bills. The Zumbox site lets users look at a variety of media in the form of HTML, Flash, audio and video.

The company uses a closed system with security measures that meet pretty tough regulations, such as the medical-record HIPAA law. Users get a secure PIN number, which they receive from Zumbox via paper mail to make sure that scammers don’t get into their mail. So the system is supposed to be secure and have no junk mail.

But it does sort of beg the question as to who would use a service like this. Most companies already offer e-mail billing and have an option for their customers that want to pay bills online. It is another way to kill off the ruthlessly inefficient system that is paper mail, but it seems sort of redundant in an era that is already dominated by email and electronic messaging.

The Westlake Village, Calif.-based company was founded in 2007. It has raised $12 million across a seed funding round and its first round of fundraising. It has some high-power investors like Rick Braddock, former CEO of Priceline.com, and Michael Eisner, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company. This round brings its total funding up to $21.7 million.