There are a lot of tools out there for sharing documents and workplace collaborating, from Box to Dropbox to Slack. Those tools work pretty well, but what happens when the sharing needs to be secure? Then, maybe not so much.
That's the role that workflow optimization platform CapLinked wants to play, offering enterprise clients the ability to share documents securely. And now the company is announcing it has raised a $3.5 million financing round to make that happen.
The round was led by Subtraction Capital, includes investments from Payal co-founder Peter Thiel and Indicator Ventures. It also includes financing from venture debt lender Western Technology Investment. CapLinked has previously raised a $4 million Series A from Subtraction Capital, 500 Startups, FF Angel and Jason Portnoy, the founding partner of Subtraction Capital. The company has now raised $7.5 million in funding.
Founded in 2010, CapLinked had once been a software-as-a-service product, giving companies a solution for managing complex, sensitive interactions such as asset sales, financings, and mergers. That was before it pivoted after it "discovered a really exciting, really big opportunity out there for secure enterprise sharing," Eric Jackson, founder and CEO of CapLinked, told me.
It now offers a cloud platform that is built for integrated, secure workflow management and document collaboration on business deals, projects, and other multicompany collaborations.
"Companies need to work with other companies, host different types of business arrangements. Deal management is a big part of our business," said Jackson.
"Beyond corporate M&A deals, they need huge assistance with security licensing, business development, client onboarding, and many other situations where they might need to get info out, while retaining control. They need a secure way to share."
Legacy technologies, like email, or even Dropbox are great for sharing information, he told me, but they also don't care about how the info is being used. Sharing family vacation photos is not sensitive, and those can be a great tool for that kind of sharing. But documents pertaining to permits, regulators, are sensitive and can fall into the wrong hands.
Jackson compared what CapLinked does to a vault, while services like Dropbox are like a filing cabinet.
"Those tools are great when you just want to share files or work internally. It's like a filing cabinet and a vault. With a vault you can only go in when you're invited, and it has controlled access. With a filing cabinet you can come and go, and it's not tracked. Companies using a filing cabinet also need a vault," he said, though he was quick to say that CapLinked works alongside those other products, acting not as a replacement but as an additional service.
The company purposely made the product easy to use, with "consumer level ease of use, coupled with robust, bank-grade security." That includes additional controls, where only certain people can see certain documents, such as only those authorized being able to see documents without a watermark. The service also allows for control over how long a document will be accessible, as well as analytics for it's downloaded.
"Our organization is super obsessed with security procedures, which startups never do. We have gone an extra mile with security cautions and controls. We go that extra step to bring security into the product, and those tools are what CapLinked is," said Jackson.
It is now being used by several hundred businesses, including Ernst & Young, Sunbelt Business
Brokers, Competitive Power Ventures, FTI Consulting and Brookline Bank.
The company will use this funding to expand both its team and its product, specifically with more integrations. For example, it just rolled out single sign on, which is now in quiet private beta mode, which Jackson said is a "big tool for integrating with other technologies for enterprises." It will also be integrating CRM and and other document hosting services, as well as third parties to help import and export data,
In terms of hiring, the company currently has roughly 25 employees, and will be adding to its sales and marketing teams. Finally, later this quarter, it will be announcing international expansion, first to Europe, where there is a "huge opportunity.
"It's a very large market, and they have significant tech needs that are similar to what companies in the U.S. are experiencing," Jackson told me.
Ultimately, CapLinked's goal is to be used by all the Fortune 500 companies when they need to share information, something that is “increasing with globalization, and we work on a host of things, including licensing, asset sales, getting regulatory approval. Those needs only increase the more data there is in the cloud," Jackson said. "Collaboration can run smoothly, and we can keep data secure. The secure exchange of unstructured data, we are stepping into that gap that currently exists."
As for this latest funding, Jackson sees it as a validation of what CapLinked has been doing.
"These are marquee names, and we are trilled to be working with these sorts of investor, who have validated our vision and our business, and made it so we will be able to grow."