Lounging on a remote beach in Mexico in 2009, Sunil Patro didn’t care too much when his vacation was interrupted by a call from a company offering him a job he really wanted. But the problem was that Patro’s new employer demanded that the contract be signed immediately, and all he had was his mobile phone. At that time, the idea of easysignal began to take shape.
“I worked at innovative technology companies for several years, always with the goal of solving customer pain points,” recalls Patro. “This was a sore spot that I was experiencing for myself.”
Signeasy was his answer. At the time, other companies focused on the electronic signature market did not offer a mobile phone app that people like Patro could use to send and receive contracts for signature. “We spent a year creating an app and launched it in 2010,” explains Patro. “When Apple featured us as one of their 100 Best Apps Worldwide, we knew we were doing something right.”
More than a decade later, Signeasy will announce a major milestone today. Its technology has already been used to sign 100 million contracts. A business founded because Patro got frustrated on the beach now has 10 million users in 48,000 companies in 100 countries around the world. “Our point of differentiation has always been that we focus on what the end user wants and needs,” Patro says of the company’s success.
Key strategic decisions along the way have certainly helped. Initially, Signeasy decided to focus on small and medium-sized businesses that needed an out-of-the-box solution because they lacked the technical resources of larger companies, which often develop technology solutions in-house. Groups like the self-employed and small business owners often did business on the road, Patro reasoned, and needed simple solutions that they could access on their mobiles.
The Covid-19 pandemic also turned out to be a defining moment. As companies around the world are forced to work remotely, and employees often lack IT infrastructure in their own homes, the demand for simple solutions to everyday business problems, like Signeasy, has skyrocketed. The fact that so many organizations have embraced remote or hybrid work as a permanent arrangement has kept the demand going since the crisis.
In fact, this is a market that continues to grow and grow. Market research consultant IDC predicts that the global electronic signature software market will be worth $6.4 billion by 2025, up from $2.3 billion in 2020, a compound annual growth rate of nearly 23%.
Signeasy’s ambitions have grown along with the demand for its most basic mobile product. “The signing of a contract is just one moment in a chain of events,” says Patro. “At each stage of that chain, there is potential to simplify and automate to be more efficient – our electronic signature application may just be a gateway technology.”
In that context, the company has created a suite of workflow management tools. The goal is to help companies digitize many of the paper-based processes behind developing and issuing contracts, and processing them once they’ve been signed and received, so functions like finance, operations, and human resources take the next steps appropriate steps. .
It’s advancements like this that allow companies to stay relevant and competitive, Patro believes. “Our business has always evolved, trying new things to solve customer pain points,” he says. “This is how we move forward.”
In fact, although Signeasy still has many small and medium-sized businesses as customers, large enterprise-scale companies have signed up as well. The fact that its solutions integrate with Google Workspace, Office 365, Salesforce, and Dropbox has added to that broad appeal.
Remarkably, Signeasy has made it this far with little to no outside funding: It took its first investment alone in 2020. “We always wanted to stay focused and control our own destiny,” Patro says. In any case, he argues, collaborations with partners don’t have to mean taking on their capital: joint ventures and integrations can be just as valuable, he says.
Patro isn’t ruling out fundraising in the future, but his focus now is on organically growing the existing business. Focus areas include creating additional security features and functionality, as well as adding to Signeasy’s automation offering. More broadly, he expects 100 million contracts to be just a starting point. “We’re just getting started and we’re more excited than ever on the rewarding journey toward 1 billion contracts,” he says.