Cloud storage and file sharing platform Dropbox has acquired HelloSign for $230 million which marks the biggest acquisition in the Dropbox’s history. HelloSign, a digital workflow platform provides embedded e-signature to clients. The acquisition will give Dropbox an advantage over its rivals including Google Drive and Box making it more viable option for businesses.
Traditionally Dropbox focused more on consumers while the competitors Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Box focused on businesses. With HelloSign’s e-signature capabilities in hand, Dropbox can now target enterprise customers while taking aim at its chief competitor Box.
E-signature vendors like AdobeSign, DocuSign and HelloSign integrate into various document management and file sharing platforms, however none of the competitors have managed a deeper integration of e-signature in their platform which the Dropbox-HelloSign acquisition offers. The service integration will set Dropbox apart from other players in the field.
The acquisition of HelloSign enables the user to e-sign their documents within the Dropbox platform eliminating the need to use third party e-signature vendors. Box doesn’t have the e-signature functionality which will be a major differentiator for Dropbox. The new feature will keep users within the Dropbox ecosystem and will extend its services from just file-sharing to business workflow.
HelloSign’s primary capability in e-signature is aided by other offerings like HelloWorks, a document onboarding service which makes filing out tedious documents and forms easy. For example the amount of paperwork involved in employee onboarding can be streamlined by HelloWorks which makes the data entry operations mobile-friendly. The tighter integration with e-signature vendor will not only improve user-experience but also convince enterprises that Dropbox can be used for their business processes.
IDC’s Research vice president Holly Muscolino said that the HelloSign Acquisition by Dropbox makes sense as electronic signature forms an important part of content-centric workflows. The integration with HelloSign will continue Dropbox’s current push to target enterprise businesses. In 2018 Dropbox added Dropbox Extensions feature which integrated Dropbox with a number of e-signature vendors and video and document management tools. Box also added new workflow automation features and AI tools recently in its platform.
Dropbox stated that it will retain HelloSign as a standalone product. Dropbox spokesperson said that despite the acquisition the product will remain independent and its API’s will be open for other software vendors also. The e-signature functionality is being added by other platforms as well. Nintex and Adobe unveiled a partnership which allows users to e-sign documents within Nintex without the hassle of opening another application.