I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I detest Adobe Acrobat. Scarred by years of wrangling with bloated software that requires premium upgrades for some basic features, I’m happy to try out any other solution. YC-funded Crocodoc is one promising startup that offers a very straightforward alternative: it makes it dead-simple to upload and start marking up a PDF file (and a variety of other document formats) using a web-based editor. And today it’s launching an overhauled site that makes it much easier to start marking up documents in tandem with a team of friends or coworkers. The company is also announcing that it has closed an angel funding round, with a strong roster of participants including Dave McClure, Joshua Schachter, Paul Buchheit, Steve Chen, and XG Ventures.
Crocodoc CEO Ryan Damico says that the earlier version of Crocodoc had some issues, namely when it came to document collaboration, which has been a popular use case. Crocodoc has allowed users to annotate their documents for some time, but this typically involved using virtual sticky notes. That works well enough if you only need to leave a comment or two, but people would wind up covering their documents in these sticky notes to get their point across, leading to a big mess. The new version of Crocodoc axes stickies in favor of a system that lets users comment and respond to each other’s comments in the document’s margins, which should work much better.
Damico says that the new version of Crocodoc includes plenty of other changes as well. The UI has been overhauled, as have most of the editing tools. Document exporting works better than it did before. And the site has also built out its API and embedding features. The site offers some premium features, like SSL encryption and password protected documents, but Damico says that Crocodoc is currently focused on making sure it is addressing the major pain points for users with its free product, with other plans to monetize down the road.
Crocodoc isn’t disclosing the size of their round, other than to say that “it falls into the category of typical angel rounds in terms of size”.