Box Buys SignRequest, Puts DocuSign and DropBox on Notice
In early February, Box announced that it would be acquiring e-signature company SignRequest for a price tag of $55 million. Box offers content management solutions, and with this purchase, it expands the scope of its product offering with a new DTM solution it will call Box Sign. In this blog, we discuss the acquisition and its implications for the market.
Consolidation in the DTM Market
As digital transaction management (DTM) heats up as a technology category, becoming a natural fit for a world
of growing e-commerce and online activity, providers are being snatched up through acquisitions such as this. This acquisition follows on the Dropbox acquisition of HelloSign, several years ago. Consolidation will be a natural tendency in a market that is experiencing growth and Box is well-positioned to take advantage of e-signature innovations.
Box possesses existing partnerships with e-signature vendors, but it did not have its own in-house capabilities. The acquisition of SignRequest positions it to build out proprietary DTM capabilities that will present a more tailored solution for its users. Currently, Box’s workflow optimization and content management offerings are supported by a variety of integrations with enterprise technology leaders.
However, Box has faced some challenges in today’s market. Its original product was a pure cloud storage play, which was finding competition up against Microsoft’s One-Drive, Google’s Drive, and Apple’s iCloud storage offering. Some customers were finding it difficult to justify paying extra for a third-party solution that’s included in the functionality of existing big three solutions.
In 2019, Box began a transition from being just a cloud storage provider focused on business to a cloud content management platform. Since then, Box has expanded their offering by adding rich automation tools in the areas of workflow, security, and automatic data classification. Adding an in-house DTM solution adds to their cloud content management platform and will help set apart their offering and give them inroads to a new customer base.
Security and privacy are pivotal concerns, as we recently outlined in our Special Report on the topic. Providers that are sensitive to security concerns will receive extra attention in today’s market.
The End of Paper
Acquisitions like this one present a growing indication that we are moving towards a world beyond paper. In the world of COVID-19, paper presents a health liability and so many enterprises are attempting to pioneer new business processes that move beyond its use.
In addition, the race to create a digital onboarding experience for customers and enterprise associates has catalyzed a shift to platforms that enable smooth content management that does not rely on physical documents. Aragon has named Box a market leader in the past for its products, which help enterprises navigate the shift towards the paperless world.
SignRequest is an important piece of the puzzle for Box. Its offering enables simple, legally-binding e-signatures that integrate with various CRM systems so that they can be incorporated into existing enterprise customer experiences. With SignRequest, Box feels it will be able to pursue onboarding workflows and supply chain collaboration more vigorously.
The DTM market is subject to more mergers and acquisitions as the category heats up and larger providers realize that their product offerings can be dramatically enhanced by incorporating e-signature capabilities. With Box’s large install base, Box Sign will be an easy add-on for current customers.