InsureSign, an e-signature startup founded in 2011 that competes successfully with some major tech companies, recently received some awesome kudos. G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solutions review website, ranked the company number one for its usability and customer support in its Summer 2018 Report on e-signature software.
Lighter Capital funded InsureSign in 2017, which allowed the company to create its first dedicated sales team in order to grow aggressively in 2018.
We caught up with Joe Floyd, founder and CEO of InsureSign, to ask a few questions about how this exciting company finds success.
Lighter Capital: How did you start? What was your “Aha” moment of realizing the market needed something like InsureSign?
Joe Floyd: I ran a finance company in the insurance space and we dealt with a lot of paperwork. Clients were used to going into a local office and completing transactions, but that became less and less the normal way of doing business. People were doing things either by phone or by Internet more and more. If people had to do things by mail or in person, paperwork wouldn’t get completed.
And so we hit on electronic signing. And it was when the Internet really became totally ubiquitous; it was just the right time. It was a business need that we had, and it was a technology that was already in the hands of customers. And so that’s what started it.
LC: What verticals do you work in?
JF: We started in insurance but we’ve been growing in financial services. Healthcare is starting to pick up, with everything from medical to dental. We’ve seen a lot of growth in hospitality sales, and we’ve been getting a lot of outreach for law firms.
Every other day I look at new signups that have come in and I will say, “Wow, I never thought of this type of company using us — a yoga studio or a home health care or even a multilevel marketing company.” If you think about it, even though there are big verticals, really everything that you sign on paper will eventually be electronic. So it’s a huge market.
LC: What makes InsureSign different?
JF: Our number one factor is ease of use and simplicity. When we started, we did a survey of everything that was available at that time, and it was all kind of complex. Customers’ frontline people were not particularly savvy, and they would sign up for these services, then never use them and eventually cancel them.
So our first version was extremely simple. No frills and straightforward. Customers would say, “You know, we had this other software and never used it since we’ve had it. But since we got InsureSign we’ve sent a hundred documents for signature.”
We realized it doesn’t matter what all a product does; if customers don’t feel like picking it up and using it within a day, then you’re spinning your wheels. So even today, we’ve added tons more capability, tons more features, but they’re kind of hidden unless you need to see them.
LC: You compete with really big companies. Besides ease-of-use how do you set yourself apart as a small startup?
JF: We are able to deliver something as good or better than they can. They have a larger reach than we do, but the actual product itself we believe is better. It’s a result of the democratizing or leveling effect of the Internet; we have access to the same enterprise-grade security and infrastructure as anyone else. So it really does put us on a level playing field.
And then in the market we differentiate ourselves definitely by usability and also a few strategic features that we’ve put in. And we really, really listen to customers. We believe in that wholeheartedly. If a customer says, “It would really be killer if it did this,” we will have someone from the development team monitoring and they’ll see that conversation in real time. They will understand the use case that’s happening. A lot of our features we’ve rolled out in the last six months especially have been directly related to what people are using it for.
LC: How do you define and build the culture at InsureSign?
JF: We’ve got the development team pretty much all in one spot and we found that that was important. About a year ago, we rewrote most of the code when we moved to a different platform, and it was a bear. We could have done it remotely, but we got it done much more efficiently and much quicker with everyone sitting in the same room with a whiteboard.
We also have a lot of people who are remote, and a lot of technologies we use today have been very handy. We all see each other either on Intercom, which is where our customers are relating to us, or on Slack, which is our internal communication. I think that we have really done a good job with using those tools to keep everybody on board.
LC: Can you talk us through your funding philosophy for InsureSign?
JF: One thing I do not understand is why so many companies use so much VC funding. We believe in getting by with the least amount of funding we can. In other words, if you’re capital-efficient, you should grow revenue to keep ahead of what you need to do with building a development team, building a sales team, et cetera.
When you’re successful and it leads to a lot more options down the line, you have a lot less pressure on you. You don’t have any of those uncomfortable situations where the company has a disappointing or forced exit. We want no part of that. Not to say that we won’t look for strategic investment; at some point it might make sense. But only if we’re able to dictate it on our terms. We’re growing slowly, and if we do our job right we’re going to grow by being smart.
LC: What does the recognition from G2 Crowd mean to you?
JF: We are rated the highest in customer satisfaction, and at the end of the day that’s what matters. What matters is that people are happy they signed up, and they are using it, and they tell their friends about it. That’s kind of the gold standard. So we’re really excited about it.
Interested in leveraging InsureSign? Start a trial today.