Digital mail management industry leader Earth Class Mail (ECM) announced Wednesday its acquisition for an undisclosed amount of Shoeboxed, a company that has been turning receipts and business cards into digital data since 2007.
Earlier in August ECM announced the release of its new user interface, complete with added features and upgrades, including search features, the ability to share content via e-mail, custom tags, and integration with office software such as Quickbooks. The new features reflect the customer-driven focus of ECM chief executive officer Jess Garza, who has overseen the company’s revamping since December, as well as its director of product, Nicole Hairston, who joined in May. San Antonio venture equity firm Scaleworks acquired Earth Class Mail in 2016 to grow the software-as-a-service business.
The Shoeboxed acquisition positions Earth Class Mail as more of an all-in-one provider of office mail automation services. ECM technology offers its users automation of digitized office mail that Shoeboxed customers do not currently have, according to Garza. ECM also scans receipts but “we lack some of the additional features and functions that Shoeboxed offers,” Garza said. “They have specialized in pulling financial data from receipts for reporting purposes for over 10 years.”
Shoeboxed has been in business since 2007 and is specifically designed to help companies with expense tracking. Its features give small and midsize businesses an easy, reliable way to manage paper receipts, business cards, and other paper records. All files are stored in a central repository in the Shoeboxed web app. The dashboard allows for file organization and provides a preview that shows a document’s text description and the associated image.
Customers can submit receipts via Shoeboxed’s free mobile apps, forward email receipts to their custom Shoeboxed email address, or mail their receipts physically using company-provided pre-addressed mailer envelopes. Shoeboxed then scans the receipts and extracts the relevant information like vendor name, total amount, payment method, and date, categorizing receipts into one of 15 Internal Revenue Service’s expense categories.
“While we’re still scoping what an integration could look like, we do know that we want to combine the power of the two tools to offer customers an even more robust solution to the paper problem,” Garza said.
Prices for Shoeboxed’s service range at varying price points from the entry-level single-user plan of $9.95 per month for 50 documents all the way up to a $99.95 per month plan that can support a company’s 1,000 documents and more than 10 users. Shoeboxed’s app is available on Android or iOS and includes GPS-enabled mobile features to track mileage for expense-reporting purposes.
Shoeboxed has over one million users in over 100 countries and provides receipt capture solutions for multiple top-tier banks, financial institutions, certified public accountants, accounting and expense reporting applications, and government entities, according to Shoeboxed CEO Tobias Walter. The company receives over 250,000 documents mailed to their Durham, NC headquarters every month and uses human-verification to ensure the accuracy of extracted data.
“We have so far actually never lost a piece of mail that was mailed to us,” Walter wrote in an email. “There are a number of steps we take to make sure that that doesn’t happen: our envelopes are all pre-addressed and USPS-barcoded; they are also made out of indestructible Tyvek material.”
Earth Class Mail has its office within Scaleworks on East Houston Street and is searching for a larger space in San Antonio’s downtown tech district, Garza said. Before Wednesday, ECM employed 13 people in San Antonio and about 50 remote employees. The Shoeboxed team numbers about 21 people.
With the addition of Shoeboxed, Earth Class Mail is looking to stand out in a growing field of digital mail service providers.
“Shoeboxed and ECM both have a customer base that believes in the power of digitizing paper,” Garza wrote via email. “The alignment in customer philosophy offers a lot of opportunity.”
Featured image was taken at Shoeboxed’s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. Courtesy photo.