Last week, I got to see something really cool. The first time I heard this pitch I knew the problem it would solve and the immediate value it would create. The company we’re talking about is Signom Ltd. It’s a Finnish startup founded by Ossi Marko (disclaimer: he’s an advertiser with ArcticStartup in OMLegal and ArcticStartup has signed an advertising agreement with Signom for later this year too). By background, he’s a lawyer so he doesn’t share the technical point of view that many tech-oriented entrepreneurs have nowadays.
So what does Signom do then? The name and the slogan on their website gives a nod towards the right direction: Signing power. It’s a company aimed at solving the age old problem of agreeing on contracts when there’s geographical distance between the parties. In other words, its taking out the hassle to create legally valid agreements in today’s mobile world.
Pardon my enthusiasm for the company, but when I saw the demo and the way it worked – I was left in awe (and another disclaimer: no, Ossi Marko did not pay a cent for this post, nor did he buy me beer or anything else to write this – I just really liked the way the service worked). The impressive thing is how Ossi Marko has approached this problem. He has approached it from the legal and conceptual point of view of agreements; how to verify that the parties (companies or individuals) are legally 100% bound to the agreement and how to verify that the content of the contract is legit in itself.
If you look at the service from this point of view, it’s extremely simple and does not try to solve too many challenges with documents. Actually, after talking to Ossi Marko, they don’t want to step into the territory of document handling at all, they just want to be the best choice for signing contracts electronically.
Ossi Marko has also managed to ramp up quite a board for Signom. The Signom board holds an armory of experience with B2B sales, business operations, client management, communication and PR, legal and IT systems. Some of the names he has disclosed include Aki Antman, Arto Linnervuo, Hannu Vuola, Jaana Rosendahl, Kimmo Ojuva and Tom Anderzen. Needless to say, these board members are a big part of the trust needed in startups when diving deep into enterprise processes.
The service will be launched soonish, Ossi Marko promises. He hasn’t disclosed an exact date yet, but by the looks of the demo he showed me – we’re close to launch. I wasn’t allowed to share any screenshots from the service, but the problem is extremely simple and therefore it requires a very simple solution – something Signom is well on its way to solving.
When I asked about the pricing, Ossi Marko told me it will be priced on a monthly basis or at least that is how it seems to make the most sense at the moment. Nothing has been agreed on the prices, but based on the talks with Ossi Marko, the pricing will be very attractive for SMEs and larger companies alike.
This is a problem I’ve yearned to see companies solve. It’s a very simple, yet common problem in the business world and I’m sure there are a ton of people looking for a solution. I’m eager to follow how Signom will move forward with its plans this year.