Workshare, a company that helps law firms and others manage, secure and collaborate around documents, today announced financing of $8.4M in the form of a revolving line of credit from the Technology Finance Division of Wells Fargo Capital Finance.
The line of credit is in addition to $33.8M in funding they received in September, 2012, which they used to expand the company’s product portfolio by purchasing SkyDox, a file sync and share tool and IdeaPlane, a cloud collaboration platform.
CEO Anthony Foy told me that they went the line of credit route because they wanted cash to expand their customer support mechanisms, but they didn’t want to dilute the options owned by stakeholders in the company.
They can draw on the money as they see fit, much like a homeowner drawing on a line of credit against their house, and they will pay it back over a 4-year period, Foy explained to me.
The company has been around since 1999 and has for the most part helped law firms track changes in legal documents. From the beginning, firms could use Workshare to generate an audit trail of comments and redlining, which they could share or not as they saw fit. As Foy pointed out, they might want to hide these markups when sharing documents with opposing council or even the client, but they might want to expose them in a meeting to discuss the case to see how the document has changed over time.
Today, Workshare, not only allows you to follow that audit trail, but to access and share files across devices and if necessary, even remotely shut down access to a document. In a scenario where a lawyer left a tablet with work product in a cab for instance, IT or system administrators could halt access to the document, and working in conjunction with mobile device management software, they could wipe the entire device.
Since the product can be cloud-based, the lawyer could pop into a shop, buy a new device, log onto Workshare and have instant access to their work again.
Foy said lawyers are very open to using this type of technology, so long as they have control over documents as they move through the world, because they see this ability to access and work with files from any device, anywhere as a competitive advantage.
Like many software companies today, Foy said they have to work closely with their customers to help them understand how to best use Workshare and integrate with existing systems such as content management or workflow systems.
Foy said they have two departments set up to help customers after the sale. One is customer support, which reacts to questions from customers and helps them solve problems. The other, which they call Customer Success, looks for ways to proactively engage with the customer to help ensure their success. Both departments report to a Chief Customer Officer, who is in charge of making sure customers get whatever they need to succeed.
Part of the money from today’s announcement will go toward helping expand these departments.
PHOTO CREDIT: (c) Can Stock Photo