HelloSign Raises $16 Million to Fuel Enterprise Growth

I’m excited to announce our $16m Series B, being led by Foundry Group and Zach Coelius! We’re also honored to have US Venture Partners, Greylock Partners, Keith Rabois, Joshua Reeves, Paul Buchheit, and Webb Investment Network reinvesting in HelloSign this round.

We started HelloSign to solve our own pain points. We’d be in a cafe, at home, or on a train, and it was always painful to sign a document, fill out a PDF, or fax something. It’d take a long trip to a copy store and we’d put off important administrative tasks for weeks.

Turns out almost everyone in the world has this problem. Using tons of customer conversations, we created:

  • HelloSign – easy online document signing, built for business
  • HelloSign API – fastest, most customizable eSignature API
  • HelloWorks – intelligent workflow solution
  • HelloFax – easy online faxing

Since those early days, we’ve welcomed millions of users and over 50,000 paid customers, we’re cashflow positive, and we’re ready to put our foot on the gas pedal.

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The Startup Circle of Life: Team, Customers, Revenue

 

Startup_circle_of_life

The image above sums up how I think of everything at HelloSign. If you want a snapshot of what’s going on in my head, it’s an image of a circle with three different pieces: customers, revenue, and team. This is how we will build a significant company.

We rolled this idea out about a year ago. I realized as we grew from 10-20 and 20-30, not everyone was on the same page. I started getting questions like:

  • Are our customers still a priority?
  • Why are we talking about customers so much? We really should be driving revenue.
  • Are we just focused on revenue?

When I’d hear about revenue not being a priority, I’d talk about the importance of revenue at a weekly meeting or mention it more in meetings. When I’d hear about our customers not being a priority, I’d do a presentation on that. It was like communication whack a mole!

I finally realized what I was missing. I needed to tie these separate elements together into one message. I started calling it –

The Circle of Life!

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How We Leveled Up HelloSign in 2015

2015 Year Review

2015 was a huge year for us. At the beginning of the year, we made a decision that it was time to step on the gas – and we did. We doubled the team, seriously leveled up the product, built new functions around taking better care of our customers, and much, much more.

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Stop Copying HelloSign: An Open Letter to DocuSign CEO, Keith Krach

DocuSign Copies HelloSign User Interface

Dear Mr. Krach,

On November 20th, I saw that DocuSign blatantly copied HelloSign’s interface.

We published a blog post about it and Fast Company called you out as well in an article titled, “$230 Million Still Can’t Buy A Startup Original Design?

Three weeks later, you are still using our designs in what you call an A/B test. This means that it wasn’t some aberrant product manager or designer who snuck in a copy of our interface.

This tells us that DocuSign endorses copying as a legitimate business practice. By not changing your interface, DocuSign has demonstrated that this is willful and deliberate.

While you were spending time copying our interface, you were also busy suing SkySlope for allegedly imitating a single icon of yours. How do you reconcile this?

We could approach this like you are with SkySlope, but we’d rather make it a conversation and explain why you should stop:

  1. Copying hurts innovation and the tech world as a whole.
    UI copying is becoming a dangerous trend and one that inhibits doing anything bold. By copying we risk premature consensus – in a space that’s not fully developed, there’s still plenty of room for new ideas. Yet, instead of innovation being driven by a company that raised $230 million dollars, it’s being driven by us, a company a fraction of your size, with a fraction of your funding.
  2. Copying is bad for customers.
    Instead of having product diversity, there’s homogeny. As honored as we are that it’s homogenizing around our lead, the customers are missing out on the benefits of differentiation. This may appear to be a step forward for the DocuSign UI, but it’s a lateral move for the eSignature industry.
  3. Copying is unethical.
    This is unethical and plain wrong. You feel so yourself. Why else would you take legal action against SkySlope?

In the event that innovation is important to you, we thought it was worth starting a conversation. Mr. Krach, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

In the meantime, stop copying HelloSign. You have an empire of qualified designers, your own user experience lab and a couple hundred million dollars at your disposal – use these assets to innovate instead of copying us.

Sincerely,

Joseph Walla, CEO HelloSign

 

 

 

Stand up for innovation by joining the conversation on Twitter.

3 weeks later @DocuSign is still copying @HelloSign’s interface. An Open Letter to DocuSign CEO: http://bit.ly/1A5MY6m #ChooseInnovation

 

I also invite anyone interested in seeing the design of our product firsthand to set up a time to see the product in realtime. We’re excited to simplify the signing process with our end user product and to support signature integration and embedded signing with our HelloSign API.