Box acquires SignRequest as it makes push into e-signature market

The $55 million deal will serve as the foundation of Box Sign, its forthcoming e-signature service, and support the company's broader content management ambitions.

Box announced Wednesday that it's acquiring SignRequest, an electronic signature company based in the Netherlands. The $55 million deal is part of the company's push into the e-signature market and will serve as the foundation of Box Sign, its forthcoming e-signature service that will be built on SignRequest's technology and integrated natively into Box. 

Box chief executive Aaron Levie said the company has long had an interest in the e-signature product category, noting on Twitter that Box has been playing the long game as a startup and that now "the time is finally right" to officially enter the market. 

Part of the company's newfound readiness is tied to the proliferation of remote work and the fact that enterprise workflows have increasingly moved online throughout the pandemic. But Box is also in the midst of a transition of sorts, attempting to evolve beyond its origins as an online file storage company to become the cloud layer for content management in the enterprise.

Simply put, the SignRequest acquisition and e-signature product launch play directly into Box's transition and growth strategy and support its broader content management ambitions.

"With the acquisition of SignRequest and expected launch of Box Sign this summer, we'll help our customers complete the full content lifecycle in a single cloud platform," Levie said in a blog post. "There's no question that content holds extraordinary value. But to realize that value, companies need a single, integrated content layer that keeps their content secure and compliant while empowering teams to collaborate, both internally and externally. Box's content cloud gives enterprises one secure platform for managing all of their content, from the moment it's created to when it's uploaded, shared, edited, published, approved, signed, classified, and retained."


In terms of market opportunity, Box points to IDC data that suggests only a third of companies have adopted an e-signature service. The e-signature software market overall is estimated to be around $1.3 billion today with the expectation that it will grow to $3.8 billion by 2023, according to IDC.

When it launches, Box Sign will be included in all of the company's business and enterprise plans and integrated with Box's data governance, compliance, and security capabilities, the company said. The service will also be available via a Salesforce connector when it becomes generally available this summer. The company said Box Sign will eventually be integrated into a number of productivity and line of business applications. 

As for SignRequest, Box said the company will continue to operate and support both new and existing customers as a Box subsidiary.