SeamlessDocs Featured in Harvard Business School Case Study
In 2012, Shaun Abrahamson and Stonly Baptiste started Urban Us, a seed-stage urban technology focused venture capital firm, with the mission to invest in "urbantech superheroes," or startups innovating around the future of cities. Starting Urban Us was a risk: "Long sales cycles, regulations, permitting, and lack of knowledge navigating large bureaucracies had deterred many venture capitalists," said Baptiste. But that didn't stop the duo from raising $11 million and growing the firm into a seed-stage venture capital fund with a five-person team and offices in San Francisco and New York.
But how did Urban Us decide to back SeamlessDocs? By 2017, the firm had reviewed over 700 potential deals, including SeamlessDocs. During the evaluation process, Urban Us asked questions about the proposed team working on the project, potential impact, projected market and scalability, and the competitive landscape, in order to determine if and how much to back the startup candidates. At the time, SeamlessDocs did not yet focus exclusively on local government. Yet SeamlessDocs' potential to transform government resonated. With Urban Us' help, SeamlessDocs made the necessary pivot to become the leading government form automation platform.
As the SeamlessDocs Investment Memo states, "Founders have built and sold companies before. But perhaps even more important is an obsessive level of attention to detail on the design of forms...The product is impressively well designed with the simple goal of making it easy to set up and manage forms, based on existing PDFs. And the team has the advantage of being able to grab existing forms and convert them into fillable forms in real time...The team can and has sold to other industry verticals, but has chosen to focus on government."
It has been an honor and a privilege to be recognized by Urban Us as an "urbantech superhero" and we would not be where we are today without their generous support.
Check out the original HBS case study here.