Yair Ravid, co-founder and CEO of Seegnature, is not your average startup founder. He has always been, and still is, a particularly sharp salesperson. It is something you notice in the first second of meeting him. He is also very well put together. To our interview he was wearing (as he always does to the office) tailored slacks and a button-down shirt. He is an impressive figure. And he has an inspiring tale.
For five years, Ravid worked in the sales and marketing department of Eli Lilly and Company. A graduate of Insead Business School with campuses in both France and Singapore, he had all the tools deemed necessary for success. But something was missing; He wanted to create something that he could call his own. So he steered off path and entered the startup world.
“A person who decides to enter the startup world, is a risk taker, and that’s who I am”, says Ravid. “It was important for me to make something of my own – something that would interest me and give me a sense of pride and belonging.”
Quitting a stable and rewarding job in favor of the unknown is indeed a risk. “It’s clear that a step like this takes a heavy toll,” says Ravid. “I [still] lack the security and salary of my old job. I invested quite a bit of my own money, and spent a year with no salary at all.” But there’s an upside to taking the plunge: the chance of success. “Success would be so rewarding,” says the CEO. “Both financially and in terms of the satisfaction and interest that I find in my job.”
The transformation from employee to startup CEO was a radical one for Ravid. It required a change not only in day-to-day life, but in mindset as well. “I tend to aim high,” Ravid says. His goal, he says, is to build a large, thriving international corporation – one that he and the Seegnature team could be proud of. That is what drives him forward.
When asked about Seegnature’s near future, Ravid talks about international expansion. “We plan to first address the US financial market, and then set sight on other industries,” he says. “We want to start a company that will leave a mark on the world of remote sales, and build a product that individuals and companies alike can use and get value from.”
Ravid launched Seegnature with his partner Erez Haim (CTO) a little under two years ago at an UpWest Labs accelerator. The product launched only five months ago and, since then, marketing efforts have been strong. “We already have a working product catering to customers in a variety of fields – from banking to law and e-commerce,” they say.
Ravid, being the talented salesperson that he is, calls Seegnature “the ultimate collaboration platform.” It lets you share any document with a client, videoconference live while editing, and sign final versions on-line. The platform helps companies work remotely via an easy-to-use and highly accessible tool.
“A company that wants to work with a client on a document can send him a link from any device, They can then watch and edit the document together, sign it, and ask for additional documents,” Ravid explains. Through Seegnature, you communicate and get things done live, in real time.
Ravid and Haim met through a mutual friend. They came up with Seegnature when they realized the need for it in the market. “A lot of companies lacked a resource that would enable them to edit urgent documents in a quick and efficient manner so that they could close a deal,” Ravid explains. “I too, when working in the capital market, struggled to do so. I’d have to physically go to the bank to sign papers.”
No Need to Run to the Bank
Seegnature was created to eliminate the unnecessary hassle of running to the bank. “We built it in order to eliminate the need for a face-to-face meeting. So that you can conduct simple actions online,” he explains.
Just five months from launch, the company already has dozens of local and global paying customers in multiple industries such as PWC, Isracard and Groupon. The Seegnature team already raised $600K in the beginning of the year and are now completing a subsequent round of $1.5M. But as with any startup, uncertainty is a constant factor. “As an entrepreneur, you’re in a constant state of uncertainty,” Ravid says. “But you need to talk with your clients and understand their needs. Once you give them a solution to their most urgent needs, you’ll be able to build a product that is valuable to them and caters to their needs.”
When looking for a home for Seegnature, Ravid and Haim sought flexibility. And that’s what first drew them to Mindspace – the flexible office options and adaptability to growing enterprises. But it was the atmosphere that ultimately won them over. “We love the young spirit of Mindspace, the constant action,” they say. “We are in constant interaction with other startups.”
Mindspace proved to more than an office space, though. It grew to be a breeding ground for new Seegnature clients. “There were a lot of Mindspace-based companies that wanted to use our platform, and connected us to other potential customers too,” Ravid says.
Clearly, a a symbiotic relationship has formed – a harmonious one – one in which Seegnature and Mindspace are growing together, side by side.
Quick tip for the young entrepreneur?
Be strong, believe in yourself, be attentive to feedback, and know how to adjust your product and your company accordingly.