The digitization of government docs scored another win today, this time in the form of a $5 million investment in SeamlessDocs, a startup that offers cloud-based document automation for governments.
The new Series A funding comes from the Govtech Fund, a venture capital firm that focuses on emerging government technology startups. Last year, SeamlessDocs raised $2.7 million in seed funding and embedded its digital forms into dozens of state and city departments, including the city of Los Angeles.
Part of the startup’s allure is that officials can transform PDFs of nearly any variety into a click-and-submit form. Citizens fill out the forms by dragging and dropping current dates, initials and electronic signatures for a quick send-out. On the back end, the platform can organize all of the docs into a searchable database via SeamlessDocs’ Record Manager, a feature that lets officials store, search and manage their records.
Co-founders Jonathon Ende and Chachi Camejo market the solution as the replacement for paper documents and outdated PDF printouts.
Ron Bouganim, the sole managing partner at the Govtech Fund, said SeamlessDocs has seen sizable customer growth and averages 86-day sales cycles — a lightning-fast speed for government. More evidence of the startup's growth can be found in a handful of new IT and sales positions. One job posting asserted that 30 to 50 percent of sales calls turned into product demos, and of those demos, 50 to 75 percent ended in requests for proposals.
In an interview with Government Technology, Ende gave more specifics.
What was the compelling driver in this new round of funding?
Our vision is to be the new standard of government forms and power local government. We raised the money to expand both our development and sales teams. We want the best talent in the country helping to bring government online and changing the way government works (literally).
How will the funding enhance SeamlessDocs and its services?
Each week and month we are constantly pushing the limits of how we can better understand government's needs, and then build extensions of our platform can best accommodate them. We will continue to extend our core functionality to more deeply work for government. We are in the process of adding in more robust conditional workflow management and tools to better use the data once collected.
How many government and private-sector customers do you have so far?
We don't disclose exact numbers, but we have hundreds of governments in over 40 states using our platform. We are signing on about a government a day.
What would you credit SeamlessDocs success to? Or said in another way, how has SeamlessDocs avoided some of the pitfalls of other startups entering the difficult and competitive govtech market?
Focus. By focusing 100 percent of our distribution and development efforts on government, we have been able to truly understand their needs. Rather than other solutions that try to make their tool fit for government, we made a tool specifically for government. Once we built a perfect solution, it was easy to show other governments with the same problems how we could solve their needs too. Other companies also try to sell to government the same way they sell to other sectors. We became obsessed with government procurement and made sure we understood how to best work with them rather than how they could work with us.
Looking at growth, where do you hope to take the company in the next two to three years?
We believe that interacting with government can be a beautiful experience. We want to continue to push the limit of how we can power government forms and be the default standard. We would like to power all local government, and make partnerships with the larger state and federal governments to help them regain control of their form processes.
Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.