Australian Document Design Startup Qwilr Raises US$7.25M In Series A Funding Round


Qwilr plans to accelerate its expansion in the U.S. and Europe with the latest funds

Sydney, Australia-based digital document design startup Qwilr has raised US$7.25 million, closing a Series A Funding round led by AirTree Ventures and Skip Capital, along with Typeform’s co-founder Robert Muñoz, according to a company statement released on May 4.

Existing investors Point Nine Capital, Right Click Capital and Macdoch Ventures also participated in the round. While the announcement was made on May 4, Qwilr Co-founder and COO Mark Tanner told SmartCompany that the funding round was closed before the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The startup had earlier raised $2 million in a seed round led by Point Nine in April 2017, after receiving seed funding of $100,000 and $530,000 in 2014 and 2015 respectively from Sydney Seed Fund. With the latest financing, Qwilr’s total funding reached $9.25 million, according to Crunchbase data.

The latest funding will be used to accelerate Qwilr’s expansion into the U.S. and Europe, while developing their product and acquiring new talent.

“We started with six employees in the U.S. and plan to have north of 20 people, mainly in sales and marketing, by the end of the year,” Tanner told Crunchbase.

Founded in 2014 by former Google employee Tanner and his childhood friend Dylan Baskind, the startup enables users to create sales and marketing documents like proposals, quotes, and pitches as interactive web pages, replacing static documents like PDFs and Word, which Tanner describes as a “slow, ugly, and dumb” process.

The startup operates with the focus of making it easier for individuals and businesses to create beautiful web docs, according to Qwilr’s website.

Qwilr also integrates with business tools, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack and Xero, to automate essential business tasks for efficiency, and can alert sales reps when customers and potential customers are interacting with documents.

“In the same way that [Canva] is democratizing design, we’re democratizing the web. We’re allowing anyone to create their business documents as these simple, beautiful web pages,” COO Tanner had previously said.

“It boggles my mind that sales and marketing reps still send PDFs to potential customers,” Airtree Ventures Partner John Henderson said in a written statement. “The traditional business document suite is antiquated, clunky and lacking basic functionality, which should be table stakes in the age of the cloud and is even more imperative in a remote working economy,” he added.

“Forget sales rep taking hours to manually create ugly and uninspiring proposals and attaching them to an email as a PDF,” Henderson wrote in AirTree’s blog post announcing the funding.

“Instead imagine a visually compelling, customized web page created directly from your CRM with a dynamic quote block the customer can adjust to suit their needs and budget as they accept, e-sign and pay on any device. Once signed, Qwilr can mark the deal as ‘closed won’ in your CRM and trigger an onboarding workflow for your account management team,” Henderson added.

The U.S. and Canada account for almost 45% of Qwilr’s turnover of around $7 million in 2019. The startup claims that its revenues have doubled year-on-year since 2017.

According to the company, Qwilr’s customer base hails from a diverse range of industries, some of which – such as retail, hospitality, and events – have been hit hard by the pandemic. Others, such as software companies, professional service providers, and consultancies, are currently experiencing increasing demand.

Although April has been a slow month for Qwilr, Tanner is confident that demand for its solutions will only grow as remote work continues to grow in prevalence.

“Paper and pdf, which were already old and clunky and silly, have just been exposed as more so.” said Tanner. “Almost everyone’s pipeline is looking lighter than usual – there are less new deals coming in. Which makes it all the more important that you work really hard to win those deals if you can. It can’t just be some ugly pdf,” he added.

“People are still buying and investing in software, and right now there’s always space for tools that make your team faster and more efficient,” Tanner said.

Header image courtesy of Qwilr.


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