Dropbox Acquires HelloSign To Expand Into Document Workflow

Aiming to expand its workflow product offering, Dropbox made its biggest acquisition since launching in 2007, acquiring HelloSign.

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The $230 million cash deal, which was inked in late January, puts Dropbox in direct competition with Adobe and DocuSign, the leading workflow software companies. HelloSign has more than 80,000 customers who use its eSignature and document workflow platform including Intuit, Lyft, Samsung and Twitter. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter.

Dropbox, which claims to have more than an exabyte of data on its platform wants to move beyond being the place where people go to store, access and collaborate. It wants to help them close deals fasters, get new employees onboard quicker and enable the completion of documents without any errors. The acquisition of HelloSign helps the San Francisco software as a service company meet that end.

“HelloSign has built a thriving business focused on eSignature and document workflow products that their users love,” said Drew Houston, co-founder, and chief executive of Dropbox in a press release announcing the acquisition. “Together, we can deliver an even better experience to Dropbox users, simplify their workflows, and expand the market we serve.” HelloSign will remain a stand-alone business, with Chief Executive Josepha Walla staying on at the helm. Dropbox plans to promote HelloSign’s esignature product but will continue to maintain relationships with other providers of electronic signatures to remain neutral. “We waste so much time using clunky tools that were designed for yesterday’s work environment,” said HelloSign’s Walla in the deal announcement. “Over the past 10 years, Dropbox has built a trusted global brand focused on transforming people’s working lives. We share a design philosophy based on building the best experience for end-users, fueling our efficient business models and sales strategies. Together with Dropbox, we can bring more seamless document workflows to even more customers and dramatically accelerate our impact.”

The acquisitions come less than a year since Dropbox started trading as a public company. During the first three earnings reports, Dropbox was able to surpass Wall Street earnings expectations but shares haven’t had any breakouts to the upside. In an interview with CNBC when the deal was announced Quentin Clark, senior vice president of engineering at Dropbox said that since the IPO the next question on investors’ minds is how will Dropbox broaden its offering. This acquisition is one of the answers.