Contract Live Raises $1.4 Million, Because Signing Contracts Sucks

French startup Contract Live raised $1.4 million from Ingenico founders, Jean-Marc Tassetto, Arnaud Vaissié, Bruno Deschamps and more. Contract Live lets you manage and sign your contracts in a webmail interface. Instead of having to fight with paperwork, it feels like using Gmail and sending emails.

“We launched our platform in May of last year. Now, we work with more than 3,000 companies,” co-founder and CEO Mathieu Lhoumeau told me in a phone interview. “We have very big clients, billion-dollar companies, such as Bosch and Siemens.”

The company has a 7 percent week-over-week growth rate with its existing clients. Many clients probably just start with one type of contracts before moving their entire business to Contract Live. The startup can manage contracts with suppliers, clients, HR, partners and more.

You can import Word or PDF templates or create contracts from scratch. Then, your client, partner or new hire will be invited to view the contract on the platform. He or she can negotiate directly without ever leaving the platform. And, of course, both parties can sign with the same legal value as a paper signature.

One of the company’s key strengths is that the product is intrinsically viral. You need two persons to sign a contract. “Our existing clients invite their suppliers, so our model works very well,” Lhoumeau said.

There are many companies in this space, including PeopleDoc for HR documents, electronic signature services such as EchoSign (which I used when I was hired here) or DocuSign. But many companies still have dated processes with paper documents and Word templates.

That’s why Contract Live will try to capture the market before anyone else. The team of 10 will grow. The objective is to have 25 people working for Contract Live before the end of the year, with a second office in the U.S.

At the same time, the company needs to sign new clients to ramp up its revenue and support the headcount increase. “We are currently bidding on contracts with very, very big companies in the bank and insurance industry,” Lhoumeau said.

Photo credit: Steve Snodgrass under the CC BY 2.0 license