Lazing on a remote beach in Mexico in 2009, Sunil Patro didn’t mind too much when his vacation was interrupted by a call from a company offering him a job he really wanted. But the thing was, Patro’s new employer required the contract to be signed immediately, and he only had his cell phone. At that moment, the idea of ”Signeasy” began to take shape.
“I worked for several years at innovative technology companies, always with the goal of solving customer pain points,” Patro recalls. “This was a sore point I felt for myself.”
Signeasy was his answer. At the time, other businesses focused on the e-signature market didn’t offer a mobile phone app that people like Patro could use to send and receive contracts for signatures. “We spent a year building the app and launched it in 2010,” explains Patro. “When Apple featured us as one of their top 100 apps worldwide, we knew we were doing something right.”
After more than a decade, Signeasy is announcing a significant milestone today. Its technology has now been used to sign 100 million contracts. The 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 have certainly helped. Initially, Signeasy decided to focus on small and medium-sized businesses that needed up-to-date solutions because they did not have the technical resources of larger companies that often develop technology solutions in-house. Groups such as the self-employed and small business owners often did business on the road, Patro reasoned, and required simple solutions they could access on their mobile phones.
The Covid-19 pandemic was also a watershed moment. As businesses around the world are forced to work remotely and workers often don’t have IT infrastructure in their homes, the demand for simple solutions to everyday business problems like Siigneasy has gone through the roof. The fact that many organizations have adopted remote or hybrid work as a permanent arrangement has seen this demand sustained since the crisis.
Indeed, this is a market that just keeps growing and growing. Market research consultancy IDC predicts that the global eSignature software market will reach $6.4 billion by 2025, up from $2.3 billion in 2020, representing nearly 23% annual growth.
Signeasy’s ambitions have grown along with demand for its most basic mobile product. “The signing of the contract is just one moment in the chain of events,” notes Patro. “At every stage of that chain there is potential to simplify and automate to be more efficient; our e-signature application may just be the gateway technology.”
In that context, the company has created a suite of workflow management tools. The aim is to help businesses digitize many of the paper processes behind the development and issuance of contracts and process them after they are signed and received so that functions such as finance, operations and HR can then take the appropriate next steps. .
It’s advances like these that allow businesses to stay relevant and competitive, Patro believes. “Our business has always evolved by trying new things to solve those customer pain points,” he says. “That’s how we move forward.”
Indeed, while Signeasy still counts many small and medium-sized businesses as customers, large enterprise companies have also signed up. The fact that its solutions integrate with Google Workspace, Office 365, Salesforce and Dropbox has added to that broad appeal.
Remarkably, Signeasy has come this far with little or no outside funding; he made his first investment only in 2020. “We’ve always wanted to stay focused and control our own destiny,” says Patro. In any case, he insists that cooperation with partners should not mean taking their capital. joint ventures and integrations can be just as valuable, he says.
Patro has not ruled out fundraising in the future, but his focus is now on organically growing the existing business. Areas of focus include building additional security features and functionality, as well as increasing Signeasy’s automation offering. More broadly, he hopes the 100 million contracts are just a starting point. “We’re just getting started and we’re more excited than ever to be on our way to paying out 1 billion contracts,” he says.