Startup Corner: PandaDoc – who, why, what, where, how?

mikita-mikado-pandadocHeadquartered in Silicon Valley, PandaDoc is a web-based contract automation and transaction management platform. Described as ‘a one-stop-shop to going paperless’, it merges dealroom capability with document tracking and analytics, and offers its own proprietary e-signature capability. While its legal clients are very much in the minority, they are growing. We find out more.
Who are PandaDoc?
PandaDoc originates from a company called QuoteRoller, which launched in 2011. In 2013/14, the QuoteRoller team, led by co-founders Mikita Mikado (pictured) and Serge Barysiuk saw a bigger opportunity in contract lifecycle management and PandaDoc was born.
PandaDoc was formally launched at the end of 2014, so the product been on the market just short of two years, within which time it has reached over 5,000 clients. Mikado tells Legal IT Insider: “We grew really fast – it’s one of those Silicon Valley stories where you build it and they come.”
The company now has three offices and around 70 staff. In Minsk, Belarus there is a development and support team of around 30 people, with a further 35 people in San Francisco and a small office in South Carolina.
Why is it called PandaDoc?
The real reason is that the PandaDoc team knew they were entering a document automation market that is super fragmented with hundreds of players that have corporate names that are not memorable.
The marketing story is that pandas are endangered because of deforestation and PandaDoc is helping the world to go paperless. Which is true.
One issue with the name is, apparently, that some people think the company is called PandaDog.
What does it do?
PandaDoc automates each stage of the contract lifecycle, from creation to execution, storage, and online payment, allowing users to add e-signatures to proposals, HR documents and sales contracts.
Its USP is that it brings the sales cycle online, allowing users to quote, send, and sign right within their CRM platform.
Where is PandaDoc’s biggest market?
PandaDoc has a good spread of clients across English speaking markets. Sixty percent of its clients are in the US with the remaining 40% spread all over the world, particularly Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa. It is also doing well in the Nordic region, where English is a second language.
How are law firms using PandaDoc?
PandaDoc is being used by law firms to help streamline their own contract management process and collaborate online but also, more recently, white labelling the product to offer as a service to clients.
Mikado says: “That’s the coolest part, that’s what we’ve started to see and where I hope to build.
“Law firms, just like marketing agencies, work on project basis for the most part. The problem is that some months you’re super busy and some months you have nothing to do.
“So what agencies have started to do is offer digital marketing as a service on a monthly retainer and some progressive law firms are looking at that.
“PandaDoc has 130 resellers and partners that are agencies and only two from the legal world. It’s not much yet and it’s all still super new but I think this will be the future.”