Since Sergey and I started this company in 2011, we have spent excessive time thinking about how people interact with each other using documents.

After all, documents have been a part of civilization since paper was first invented around 100 A.D. They have become the most trusted commodity for how we communicate, transact, and reference our lives. From starting a business to purchasing a home, receiving our child’s birth certificate, and working on a living will, documents are an essential part of our lives.

But when you think about how we work with documents, not much has changed from centuries ago. Technology has shifted physical workflows into digital ones, but the basic elements have remained the same: we create, send, wait for a response with edits, incorporate the changes, send a new version, and the cycle continues until both parties agree and sign.

If we were to rework this process, what would a more simple workflow look like? What if we could make the experience not just more efficient but also more enjoyable for people on both sides of a document?

We’ve been asking ourselves these questions to build a modern and more straightforward document workflow solution for over a decade.

Then in 2020, a shift occurred because of the pandemic. We were forced to use digital tools to maintain our relationships and businesses. The physical world practically paused while the digital world increased its dependability to keep the world moving.

While this occurred, many of us re-discovered life’s treasures like enjoying our morning coffee without a commute, spending more time with our family (no matter how much they get on our nerves), growing a garden, or finally getting around to turning our backyards into a personal paradise.

These precious moments have changed how we value time, which has forced us to re-think the way we work.

Tools we use, by definition, should help us work faster or even easier, but often that’s not the case in the software industry. In many cases, even with all the digital tools at our fingertips, we are spending even more time working. This anomaly reveals the exact opposite of why we build technology in the first place.

2020 also allowed our amazing team at PandaDoc to deliver on our promise to customers. We shipped dozens of new features like a brand new Editor, a Canva integration, and even a new product, PandaDoc Forms – and our customers completed over 5.4 million documents, closing over $23B in transactions.

As more businesses adopt a remote-first policy, the meaning of how we use our tools will have a lasting impact. In a recent survey we supported, we saw that 68% would much rather permanently work remotely. Looking forward, technology will need to continue focusing on building for the dynamic environment of the new workforce: distributed, agile, and collaborative.

Simplification should be the focus of any sophisticated solution, and people are searching for solutions that will make their work measurably easier.

Here are a few more insights from our survey understanding how the pandemic impacted the workforce’s dependency on digital tools:

  • 72% of respondents started using new software while working from home during the pandemic.
  • 57% said that the lack of adequate technology and software negatively impacted their productivity in their work-from-home environment.
  • 90% of respondents signed at least one document electronically since last year.
  • 45% said the adoption of electronic signatures has helped them save time during the workday, closely followed by digital document process (39%) and workflow management tools (35%).

The market recognizes the need to adapt, and at PandaDoc, we’ve seen first-hand how both new and old customers are using our solution to not only create incredible documents fast but also improve the workflow between their teams and customers — ultimately spending less time on the everyday tasks and getting better business results. We’ve heard many stories from our customers about how they’ve transformed their businesses entirely over the last year. Our customers consistently report:

  • 50% decrease in document creation time
  • 54% increase in documents sent per month
  • 87% increase in closed deals per month
  • 36% increase in close rate

Documents should be as dynamic and adaptive as we are

This new $1B valuation reinforces the value PandaDoc continues to build into our software to automate the mundane, allow for painless collaboration, and take the work out of document workflow for all of our customers.

The success of our customers is what has and will continue to drive our passion for growing and investing in PandaDoc. By helping our customers do meaningful things, we will continue to build software that unites the world.

We’ve come a long way since our days as QuoteRoller and now PandaDoc, but we cannot thank you enough for joining us on this crazy ride. We look forward to the future in building a ridiculously easy document experience for you and your customers and a solution that aids in reclaiming your time — cheers to the next generation of digital documents.