The eSignature industry’s pioneers have been selling – more or less – the same product for almost 20 years. The basic functionality is the same across a growing number of vendors, and the service usually comes at a high cost for unlimited business use.
Still, the industry has enjoyed continued growth as part of a more substantial shift toward digital transformation, making way for significant acquisitions and IPOs and further market saturation.
As electronic signatures have increased in popularity, they’ve become the gold standard for getting a deal done. But, an urgency in today’s post-COVID world displays that a paradigm shift is well in order.
As the pandemic continues to change our everyday lives and the way we conduct business, it’s becoming increasingly important to find all-in-one solutions that deliver on the workflow needs for remote teams, helping them continue working effectively and efficiently.
Adaptability and competence are in contrast to the limited capabilities provided by the traditional, singular use of eSignatures solution.
The document automation solution company – PandaDoc – is working to change how businesses think about their eSignature solutions.
Making this innovation possible, the company just received $30 million in a Series B extension led by new investors One Peak and participation from returning investors, Microsoft’s Venture Fund (M12), Savano Capital Partners, Rembrandt Venture Partners, and EBRD Venture Capital Investment Programme.
Entrepreneur, investor, and former RingCentral COO, David Sipes, also participated as an investor in this round and will join the PandaDoc Board of Directors.
PandaDoc has an all-in-one document automation software that streamlines the process of creating, approving, and eSigning proposals, quotes, and contracts – and their eSign plan is free.
“Electronic signatures are important — they are the final part of closing a deal and today, eSignatures are helping to keep businesses running while we all social distance. That’s why electronic signatures have always been a part of our DNA and why we felt strongly at the start of the pandemic that businesses needed a free solution,” said Mikita Mikado, PandaDoc CEO and Co-Founder.
“But, eSigning is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you adopt eSignatures, you quickly realize it’s not enough — you need to automate the generation of these documents, you need to edit them, you need to streamline and track approval workflows, and more. These solutions are where PandaDoc shines.”
Launched in March, PandaDoc’s Free eSign plan is a forever free product that allows customers to upload, send, and collect signatures on an unlimited number of documents for an unlimited number of users. To date, the plan has seen new sign-ups in the tens of thousands and product usage at twice the average rate.
As free eSign users become familiar with PandaDoc, they often discover a need for broader document automation capabilities, which is where the company’s paid plans fit. While adoption of their product has made them a leader in the eSignature market, it’s helped to propel PandaDoc beyond 20,000 paying customers.
“Electronic signatures are now at the tipping point where it should be expected as part of a broader solution, and not a separate add on. A solution that supports a deal before, during, and after the signature with document workflows, insights, speed, and the end-user experience,” added Mikado. “We’re finding that the market agrees. While we’ve provided this free option, it’s become a lead magnet for us and is helping to accelerate the company’s growth plans for the future.”
As with many technology companies set up for optimizing remote working, the company has experienced significant growth through the COVID-19 crisis. However, the company believes this shift in digital transformation, and the need for all-in-one workflow solutions has been a long time in the making and will continue long past the pandemic.
“The pandemic has certainly accelerated the growth and adoption of document workflow management, but the future of business generally, and sales specifically, is headed in this direction. Once a company realizes there is an easier way to manage documents, contracts, and proposals, from creation to edits to signings to paying, there’s no turning back,” said Mikado.
While the company’s focus continues to be on helping sales and revenue teams of all sizes, it’s already seen growth in new verticals. Helping to address the growing needs outside of sales, the company has recently achieved both HIPAA and FERPA compliance. The PandaDoc optimum compliance opens the door in the healthcare and education industries providing higher productivity and ease to those most impacted due to the global health crisis.
While eSignatures have, for years, been an increasingly important part of doing business, it’s clear the pandemic has accelerated the need for straightforward, agile solutions.
Companies need extensive documentation capabilities that are trusted in a crowded market of fundamentally similar products. The overall digital transformation starts now, as PandaDoc applies new inroads into faster workflows in their solutions for the industries, company eSignatures.
Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.