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The Era Of Digital Contracts Has Arrived: Why We Invested In Ironclad

Think about the last time you signed a contract. What happened to it after you signed it? Where are the key terms stored? How do the relevant people know about the terms you just committed to? I’ve often asked myself these questions after signing a contract and then watching the static PDF disappear into the ether.

Contracts are the fiat currency of business.

Contracts are the fiat currency of business. We couldn’t run organizations without them, just as our economy wouldn’t function without fiat. Yet there is no standard system for collaborating on and tracking the critical data within contracts. There hasn’t been an easy way to be alerted when a relevant clause is being invoked in a business process or even when one is coming up for renewal.

Until Ironclad.

Ironclad is committed to moving us from static PDFs to dynamic, digital contracting. This is a tectonic shift with implications across organizations:

  • It allows General Counsels to process a much higher volume of contracts with the same resources.
  • It allows finance teams to tie in contracts dynamically to core systems. It allows compliance to keep a much closer eye on potential risks.
  • It allows HR teams to hire with less overhead.
  • It allows sales teams to close deals faster, in some cases up to 85% faster.

As enterprise software-focused investors, we know how rare it is to find a product that spreads across an organization and enables collaboration that couldn’t happen before. We’ve seen this up close with products like Box and Zoom. We believe that over the coming years, Ironclad will become another iconic enterprise collaboration platform.

Indeed, one of my favorite things we heard in our due diligence was from a sales team at a top tech company that cited Ironclad as the most important sales enablement tool they’ve rolled out in the last 3 years.

We think there’s tremendous opportunity to leverage the data created on the platform to help everyone on it draft better contracts faster. For example, Ironclad will be able to learn how certain clauses perform in specific contract situations and make recommendations in real-time as they’re being drafted. They’ll be able to understand who within an organization tends to be the right person to ask for input on a specific clause and recommend accordingly. In so doing, they’ll use AI to leverage the insights of everyone in the network to do targeted, real-time coaching. We call this phenomenon a Coaching Network and believe it will form a core part of the next generation of enterprise software.

When my wife introduced me to Jason Boehmig, Ironclad’s CEO, back in 2015, and he shared his vision of turning contracts into code, I was excited about the potential market opportunity. As we’ve gotten to know each other over the years, I’ve become even more excited about the potential of the Ironclad team.

I’ve seen the caliber of the people Jason and his co-founder Cai have recruited, complementing their backgrounds as a lawyer and an engineer, respectively, with seasoned SaaS leaders. I’ve riffed with them on the value of music in molding a leader after watching Cai give a virtuosic cello performance (all three of us are musicians, some of us more out of practice than others ;). And I’ve seen the thoughtfulness with which they’ve built Ironclad’s culture, anchored in a well-articulated set of core values. They have a strong focus on integrity, or what they term as “winning the right way”. This resonates deeply with Emergence’s third value of “winning big in the long run.”

We’re thrilled to partner with the Ironclad team to make that a reality.

Jason Boehmig, Jake Saper & Cai GoGwilt
Jason Boehmig, Jake Saper & Cai GoGwilt

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