Electronic signatures can provide a free way for businesses to deliver branding and advertising messages to customers in their day-to-day communications.
An Auckland company that has built a global niche by helping businesses sell advertisements or deliver corporate messages in their email signatures has become New Zealand’s latest software company sold overseas.
Crossware, which has around 20 employees, was acquired by Berlin-based eKomi for an undisclosed amount.
Crossware chief executive Per Andersen said his service is used by around 3,000 companies in 80 countries to manage branding or messaging in the electronic signatures of more than one million employees.
Its clients include professional services firm BDO Global, French multinational advertising agency Havas and Shiseido, the operator of the Abu Dhabi shipping port.
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It provides businesses with a centralized way to securely add and manage e-signature messages or advertisements to e-mails created using Microsoft’s Office 365 and Exchange products.
For example, companies can use it to disseminate information to staff and customers about how their company’s services have changed as a result of Covid, or to earn extra money advertising products. or services of one of their suppliers.
Crossware is developing a similar service that will work with Gmail.
Andersen said Crossware has about 10 percent of the global market for the email signature services it offers.
The potential of communicating via electronic signatures was poorly understood by most organizations, he said.
Businesses were increasingly using the service to distribute messages to staff, now that people often worked outside of the office, he said.
“We know that emails are more likely to be viewed in the morning and more often throughout the day than social media platforms in the workplace.
“What we’ve seen during the pandemic is an ever-changing environment, with organizations having to update their staff and customers in real time.”
Crossware received a research and development growth grant of up to $ 5 million per year from Callaghan Innovation in 2019.
Andersen said the company’s “major breakthrough” came in 2014 when it was approached by Microsoft to provide a signature solution for global sports marketing company IMG.
It was the first product to be sold in Microsoft’s AppSource commercial application marketplace, he said.