Mergers and Acquisitions, Content, Mergers and Acquisitions, Content

Box Acquires DocuSign E-Signature Alternative SignRequest


Box is acquiring cloud-based electronic signature software company SignRequest, and will leverage the technology for a new Box Sign e-signature service for legal and digital transactions. Box is paying $55 million for SignRequest. The deal is expected to close before May 2021.

This is M&A deal number 97 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2021. See all technology M&A deals for 2021 and 2020 listed here.

The Box-SignRequest deal counters DocuSign and head-on rival Dropbox, which acquired e-signature startup HelloSign for $230 million in 2019.

SignRequest was founded in the Netherlands in 2014, and it's unclear if the company ever raised funding. SignRequest integrates with such major SaaS, cloud and software applications as B-ware DocSys, Dropbox, Formdesk, Google Drive and Workspace, JuriDoc, M-Files, Salesforce, Slack, TOPdesk, and Zapier. Ironically, Box is not listed on SignRequest's integration page. Also, SignRequest doesn't specifically mention a partner program on its website.

Box Acquires SignRequest: MSP and Channel Partner Implications

Still, the Box-SignRequest deal is particularly timely for MSPs and channel partners that assist customers with workflow automation. Beyond the obvious opportunities in the legal market, all businesses have documents that require legally binding signatures. And demand for e-signature software has climbed amid the coronavirus pandemic and remote worker trend. Instead of shuffling printed legal papers between offices and remote executives, cloud platforms like SignRequest and DocuSign allow authorized users to electronically sign digital documents.

With those opportunities in mind, Box Sign is expected to be generally available in the summer of 2021, the buyer says. Also, native e-signature capabilities are expected to be included in Box business and enterprise plans with additional functionality such as e-signature APIs available at an incremental cost, Box says.

SignRequest will also continue to operate, and be available to both current and new SignRequest customers through, Box says.

Box Buys SignRequest: Executive Perspectives on E-Signature Software Opportunities

In a prepared statement about the deal, Box CEO Aaron Levie said:

“The past year has fundamentally shifted the way we work, pushing businesses to move critical processes to the cloud. Streamlining digital transactions is integral to digitizing business and the e-signature category is ripe for disruption. We’re thrilled to welcome SignRequest to our team, For the past several years, we’ve been building the leading content cloud, enabling some of the world’s largest and most regulated organizations to secure, manage, and collaborate on their valuable information. Adding e-signature with Box Sign extends our vision for the content cloud and will help our customers accelerate their digital transformation."

Added Geert-Jan Persoon, CEO of SignRequest:

“The last year has shown us that we can effectively work virtually and that we don’t need to rely on in-person meetings to get business done. Our mission is to build the most intuitive e-signature technology in the market and we are very excited to join the Box family to scale that vision in the enterprise. Marrying our powerful and affordable e-signature solution with Box’s enterprise-grade content platform will help digitize more transactions.”

Concluded Varun Parmar, chief product officer at Box:

"E-signature is a large, high-growth market. With less than one-third of organizations deploying digital authorization because of cost barriers and legacy solutions, work is slowed down by paper-based signatures. Over 100,000 customers already use our platform to power the way they work, and we believe that by making electronic signature capabilities native to our core offering with Box Sign we will drive incredible value for our customers -- speeding up and simplifying workflows, lowering security and compliance risk – while cutting costs.”

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.