TOKYO, Sept. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — SignTime, is pleased to announce that it has successfully finalised a Series B funding round, raising ¥390,000,000 (USD $3,000,000, at the time of funding) at a company valuation of ¥2,600,000,000 (USD $20,000,000).
"We are very excited to take the next steps in our growth journey and help more companies, in Japan and around the world, become more efficient and productive with the use of e-signatures and digital contracting," said Jim Weisser, CEO and Founder of SignTime.
Jim Weisser, and SignTime co-founder Jonathan Siegel, who holds several patents in the e-signature market, are both serial entrepreneurs in the technology industry with multiple successful high growth company exits in Japan and in the US. They have been assisted in this venture by a team of expert advisors familiar with Japanese and global business practices and a team of experienced technology professionals in Japan.
SignTime was founded in 2020 as a SaaS and web-based application that provides e-signature and digital contracting services. This includes well-known e-signature capabilities, along with contract drafting and templating functions, a database sending capability, and a secure digital contract repository with a unique tagging system that allows businesses to quickly access their documents from anywhere, in a highly secure fashion.
Digital contracting improves every facet of a business with faster, cheaper, and easier contracting, with sales departments often experiences the most benefit and highest usage of the SignTime platform. SignTime removes paper-based hurdles, making it easier and faster to go from prospecting, to lead development and contract completion in record time.
SignTime, headquartered in Tokyo, first focused on the local Japanese market, with digital ‘hanko’ support (Japanese business stamps used instead of handwritten signatures) and approval process features designed with Japanese businesses in mind, but has since gained clients globally. "Our client base is predominantly Japanese companies, with a mix of more internationalized companies operating in the Asia Pacific region," said Weisser, "and our major competitors are different in Japan when compared with overseas markets. In Japan, our major "competitor" is paper, and our paperless approach to documents is a superior product, with complete traceability, audit trails, and compliance within Japanese regulations and legal frameworks. Globally, our easy to use UX/UI and cost effectiveness separate us from the competition. In all markets, though, we make the sales process much easier."
SignTime’s Series A round included several angel investors and venture capital firms. Some of these, including Jonathan Siegel and Yoshimasa Aikawa, a SignTime advisor, are already connected with SignTime, while others are new to the company in the current funding round.
Mark Bivens, a Founding Partner at Shizen Capital with over two decades of VC experience across Silicon Valley, Europe, and Japan, commented, "At Shizen Capital, we are thrilled to back SignTime as lead investor. With its e-signature solution conceived specifically for the Japanese market, SignTime is driving digital transformation in the Japanese enterprise, and by extension across Asia."
Jonathan Siegel helped found SignTime. Jonathan is a serial entrepreneur who has founded companies in e-commerce, cloud services, and digital signatures and is currently managing partner at Xenon Ventures. He also holds multiple patents related to digital signatures. Jonathan is also a serial learner, having completed an MBA, a law degree, and a helicopter license. His book, ‘The San Francisco Fallacy – The Ten Fallacies That Make Founders Fail’ has been translated into Japanese. Siegel commented: "SignTime’s growth in Japan is one of the most exciting business opportunities I’ve seen, and I’m excited to participate. We are driving the digital transformation (DX) of the Japanese workplace where the opportunities are seemingly endless."
Yoshimasa Aikawa is currently an executive advisor to SignTime. At the beginning of career, he joined Fujitsu Kyushu Systems in 1982 as a Systems Engineer, and progressed through the ranks, eventually becoming Executive Director. Subsequently, he became President of Fujitsu Cloud Technologies in April 2017. He has extensive cloud experience both from his time at Fujitsu and while establishing Aitcz. Yoshimasa provides ICT consulting services to a variety of companies. "I am excited to be working with SignTime, driving the shift from a paper-centric office environment to a truly digital one. SignTime’s product is not only fast and effective, it is also a safe and secure way to process contracts and other legal documents."
Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) is a Japan based angel investor, developer and entrepreneur.
"I invested in SignTime to further support Japan’s digital transformation. Take it from a former salaryman: too many smart people have wasted too much time dealing with antiquated processes. We should free them to bring their talents to bear on more important problems."
Paul Oswald has been working in software development for over 20 years. For the last 12 years, he has been the CTO and co-founder of MakeLeaps, a successful Japanese FinTech startup. MakeLeaps provides online quoting and invoicing services to the Japanese market. "Over the last 12 years, I’ve witnessed Japanese adoption of online products to replace paper ones at MakeLeaps. I’m confident that SignTime can make the same gains locally while spreading internationally as well."
SignTime, based in Tokyo, is a leader in digital contracting and electronic signatures for documents of all kinds. Highly secure, legally compliant, easy to use, and scalable for businesses of any size, SignTime makes it simple to move away from paper based contracts and signatures for good.
Since its founding in 2020, SignTime has grown rapidly, serving clients in its home Japanese market, as well as the Asia Pacific region, and among multinational clients.