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Earth Class Mail secures $13.3 million, plans New York store

Mail service scans postal mail and keeps only what people decide they want to read; company plans to open retail stores around the country.

Earth Class Mail, which enables people to manage snail mail online, has closed $13.3 million in Series A funding.

The round was led by Ignition Partners of Bellevue, Wash., with more than half of the money raised by the Keiretsu Forum angel investment group.

The company aims to open a chain of retail stores, starting with one in Manhattan early this year, according to the Portland Business Journal. The storefronts will focus on easing the process of signing up, which requires completing some notarized forms. The Seattle-based service is used currently in 130 countries.

Earth Class Mail is billed as an efficient, eco-friendly alternative to a post office box and ideal for on-the-go workers. For between $10 to $64 per month, customers have their mail sent to the company rather than a personal address.

Letter openers on the 70-person staff are disabled veterans with Department of Defense security clearance. They scan the envelopes and upload the images to the Web. Customers view the mail online and decide which items to have opened and read, recycled, or forwarded.

Earth Class Mail's users recycle 90 percent of mail received, but only 20 percent of mail delivered to someone's door gets recycled, according to the company.