Poor contract management practices cost businesses an average of 9% of their overall revenue annually. Avokaado proffers a solution to this by offering a digital all-in-one workspace that makes contract lifecycle management 96% faster and 78% more efficient on average.
How to manage contracts and workflows efficiently is a common challenge that all kinds of businesses, be it SMEs, SMBs, or even large companies and organisations, face. And since this is a major challenge that had been in existence even before the pandemic, you can imagine how much more aggressive it became, no thanks to the pandemic when the working-from-home era became the new norm.
Well, at the forefront of simplifying the contract lifecycle management affairs is Avokaado. Avokaado is a Legal Tech startup that powers a digital workspace that enables ‘businesses to automate their document workflows so they can delegate, scale and control legal operations without risks and time-wastage.’ It is a digital platform offering an all-in-one solution to manage contracting processes from start to completion: creating documents with reusable contract templates, drafting documents quickly and safely, collaborating and signing as well as tracking post-signing workflow.
In 2016, attorney-at-law and law firm managing partner, Mariana Hagström founded Avokaado. Yes, as a solo founder! Avokaado’s initial idea was to bring to life the digital legal solution which would allow businesses to benefit from the smart legal templates platform for drafting contracts without the assistance or help of a lawyer. The product conception itself stemmed from Mariana’s legal practice and law firm management days when she started to reinvent the inefficient legal services delivery cycle and cost components.
That initial vision has evolved to become a standard product for organisations, today known as the contract lifecycle management system (CLM). “That (the internal DIY platform) was the initial idea we started with. From that, we actually went into the segment of document automation for legal teams and now we are providing end-to-end solutions to legal teams and businesses to collaborate on a single-window on documents and workflows,” says Mariana.
A global company
After working with top legal teams in the Nordics for quite some time, Avokaado realised that they had the skill-set and technical know-how to create a full-fledged digital contract lifecycle management platform, particularly for the SMBs since the pre-existing CLMs were mostly targeted towards the big enterprises in terms of their complexities. Now, what started as an internal DIY platform is a digital workspace used by thousands of individual users, law firms, in-house legal departments, HR teams, and enterprises.
In under 5 years, this legaltech innovator has achieved various incredible feats that are intriguing to see in the legal industry – a still deeply traditional field. The legaltech startup boasts of several top-tier partners including Swedbank, Tele2 Estonia, Dokobit and Taltech. And recently, Avokaado secured €700K in pre-seed funding. Today, Avokaado is a global company with reach in the Baltics, USA, Poland, Belgium, Norway, Luxembourg, and several other countries. And in preparation for the 5th anniversary coming up at the end of this month, Avokaado is set to launch in the UK market.
But to Mariana, all these seem like they happened in a second. “What we are today and how this platform should function, offering value to businesses, has taken five years for us to figure out. We are going to celebrate our 5th anniversary this year. At times, it feels like a second but when I look back at all these years and challenges we have experienced, the experiments done and all, then the journey feels like it has been a really long one,” she muses.
A change of mindset
It’s only normal that some are going to be hesitant towards change and innovation. Why? It’s a deviation from everything they’ve known and done for a long time. But regardless, change is the only constant thing, and so, the pandemic made many open to the acceptance of workplace digitalisation. “Our biggest breakthrough happened last year – the pandemic itself was the biggest digital transformator, then our successful fundraising and also, us hitting a certain maturity point with our product,” Mariana says.
“We saw that everything went from physical and one-on-one job/project-related interactions to everyone doing everything online. And then suddenly, people and organisations that had been hesitant to change realised that those traditional methods do not provide the sufficiency and efficiency needed to collaborate with their clients and teams. We have seen an explosion of teams and organisations investing in our CLM system. It really seems CLM is the new CRM for businesses, so it’s going to be a must-have product in the coming years,” she elaborates.
“The pandemic has also presented new opportunities for Avokaado. Asides from new potential clients coming in, Avokaado has also discovered new use cases. “One fascinating use case is in the medical sector where we are now helping medical service providers to create COVID-19 certificates and related documents for travellers. We never thought that it was going to be a use case for Avokaado but its growth metrics have been huge for past quarters,” Mariana continues.
1st choice for SMBs
“When founding a startup, you don’t need to figure out everything (your final product, market, pricing, etc.) right at the start, but at some point, you’ll need to find the product-market fit.” For Avokaado, that product-market fit is all about the SMBS. “The typical Avokaado user is an SMB with up to 500 employees and pretty often also with offices in different locations. Our SaaS platform enables them to do the fast time-to-value implementation and carry out all necessary CLM functionalities for diverse workflows and business verticals. For us, the goal is to be the first choice for small and medium-sized businesses to do their contracting work so that when you think about contracts and CLM, Avokaado immediately comes to mind,” says Mariana.