What small-business owners charge to apperceive about technology.
In his additional time two years ago, Jarrett Streebin operated a gift-card reselling business that appropriate his barter to accelerate their allowance cards to him. He capital to accord them preprinted, prepaid aircraft labels to accomplish the action easy, but it accepted added complicated and took best than he expected.
That’s because aggravating to accommodate with carriers like the United States Postal Account or U.P.S. appropriate an A.P.I. key — a cipher acclimated to accretion admission to an appliance affairs interface. Getting that code, he said, appropriate time and paperwork because allowance baby businesses accommodate wasn’t a amount focus for best aircraft companies.
Tired of waiting, Mr. Streebin congenital his own A.P.I. and started a business about it, EasyPost, which allows businesses to accommodate with carriers like the Postal Service, U.P.S., Federal Express and DHL.
To advance the service, Mr. Streebin talked to lots of small-business owners with e-commerce food to analyze their postage and aircraft affliction points. “They said it was absolutely adamantine to accommodate the above carriers into their online stores,” he said. “They were artful and pasting addresses to actualize labels because you accept to manually access addresses.”
Their options were limited: They could appoint a developer to accommodate the casework of carriers, which can be cher because it’s complicated. Or they could use an big-ticket software program. Mr. Streebin’s A.P.I. enabled the businesses to action their barter abode verification, amount information, community forms, tracking and the adeptness to accomplish a purchase.
He started the aggregation in September 2012 with a agenda about EasyPost that he wrote and acquaint on Y Combinator’s Hacker News, a news-sharing website apprehend by programmers and entrepreneurs. Hundreds active up for the service, and David Lee, architect and managing accomplice of SV Angel, became one of the aboriginal investors, putting $200,000 abaft the aggregation (Ron Conway, a acclaimed investor, is a “special adviser” to SV Angel). EasyPost has aloft $3 actor to date.
The aggregation launched a analysis adaptation of its artefact in December 2013, and today the API is acclimated to accomplish “millions of shipments a month,” Mr. Streebin said. EasyPost, which has eight employees, operates on a cable basis, with fees as low as $5 for 100 bales a ages and active as aerial as bags of dollars a ages for high-volume shippers.
Customers can book labels with EasyPost that accommodate the address, postage and a tracking number. Although the aim originally was to actualize a apparatus for baby e-commerce businesses, EasyPost now serves companies of all sizes — those with a few bags dollars of acquirement a year as able-bodied as those with hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Other than Amazon, Mr. Streebin said, “there are no companies absolutely optimized for this affectionate of shipping.”
One client, RocksBox, is a subscription-based website that allows barter to “borrow” three pieces of apparel adornment at a time to abrasion and acknowledgment (with an advantage to buy). The aggregation has 12 advisers and sends hundreds of shipments a day to all 50 states, said Meaghan Rose, architect and arch executive. About a year ago, Ms. Rose switched to EasyPost from a arrangement she advised awful activity intensive. “We had to blazon in a destination abode for anniversary addition we sent, which isn’t scalable, and we didn’t accept tracking information,” she said. RocksBox no best has to counterbalance every addition afore sending it out and press labels is now abundant faster, Ms. Rose said.
Some of EasyPost’s added tech-savvy business barter advance their e-commerce sites about EasyPost’s A.P.I. Others use plug-ins to accredit integration, or they appoint a developer. That costs little, Mr. Streebin said, because the affiliation is almost simple.
He said his better claiming now is hiring abundant developers to accumulate up with his company’s growth. “We’re in San Francisco, area anybody wants to body added software,” he said, “so continuing to acquisition acceptable bodies that are aflame about this industry is a challenge. If I had an added four engineers, I could body a lot added stuff.”
The aggregation is attractive to add carriers, action same-day account and advance tracking updates through email, argument letters and advance notifications. “We do accurate chump surveys and a lot of chump abutment ourselves, so we can see all the issues and accumulate a active tab,” he said. “We ask barter all the time, ‘Would you use the account added if it was like this?’ We accept to them and again we go body it.”
You can chase Eilene Zimmerman on Twitter.
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