Two local startups with $15 million funding rounds in rapid succession? Not so fast

I was just doing some research on the ConductorOne $15 million raise when my DMs and email were bombarded with news of another raise. Which also happened to be $15 million. For a Beaverton company. Which I thought was coincidental. If not strange. And then I realized that it was simply a super common mistake. That’s been occurring for the last 15 years or so.

That mistake? Earth Class Mail.

I mean, Earth Class Mail isn’t the mistake. Although they took some heat back in the day when they left the Portland area for sunnier climes… oh wait. I mean, for Seattle. And then came back. And then went through a series of legal somersaults before winding up as part of Legalzoom.

Hold up. I apologize. I realize that this all may seem insignificant and confusing for those of you who haven’t been following Portland-area startups since the turn of the century. So you might be asking: What does Earth Class Mail do, exactly? Well, to put it in the simplest terms, they digitize physical mail. So they take your physical mail and scan it. So you can access it electronically.

But in order to do that, they need to have somewhere to receive your physical mail to be scanned. And therein lies the rub.

So you see, that other company that raised $15 million? It isn’t actually a Beaverton company. But it does have a Beaverton address. Because Earth Class Mail provides PO Boxes with Beaverton addresses for its customers. And then companies with Earth Class Mail addresses include that Earth Class Mail address in their terms of service. But, if the startup doesn’t bother to provide any formal contact information or details on their actual physical location on their Web site — you know, because they’re trying to appear like they’re bigger than they are or Mr. Worldwide or whatever — then unsuspecting journalists are often like “Must be a company headquartered in… [checks notes]… well, the only address I can find is in… [doublechecks notes] Beaverton, Oregon…?”

And so it goes.

9450 SW Gemini might very well be the absolute most startuppy spot in the whole state — by address. But only because a single startup from the early 2000s decided to locate their company there.