Austin Snail Mail Disruptors Outbox Shutting Down

Jan 21, 2014

Less than a year after expanding, an Austin startup is shutting down.

As KUT reported in February of last year, “Outbox picks up its customers’ mail, scans it, and makes it available online. … Outbox workers open and scan letters, catalogs and flyers. Customers log in to Outbox’s website to see their – now-digital – mail.”

At the time, Outbox had expanded its operations into California after testing its service in Austin. But citing a litany of issues impacting its service, Outbox announced today it was ceasing operations.

In a letter announcing the decision, founders Will Davis and Evan Baehr write “there wasn’t enough demand to support the cost model.” Those costs included a fleet of “unpostmen” that would pick up, sort and scan subscribers’ mail.

The letter continues:

“In the end, we serviced a little over 2,000 individual customers, had 25,000 people waiting around the country on our waiting list, unsubscribed our customers from over 1 million senders of mail, scanned over 1.5 million pages, and delivered over 250,000 requested mail packages. We also recycled approximately 30 tons of paper, enough to cover 86 football fields.”

Current Outbox subscribers can learn what the company’s closing means here.

Davis and Baehr say their Outbox experience is informing a new, as yet unannounced, project – one “that has already shown signs of success, and we believe it has the opportunity to be massively disruptive. “