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Reimagining customer communication — our investment in Qwilr

Published on
May 5, 2020
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Today we’re excited to announce we’ve backed Qwilr — the document design and automation tool for creating beautiful, intuitive sales and marketing material.

Better document flow

Software has drastically redesigned many business processes, simplifying workflows and improving experiences across the enterprise. Despite this, interactions between businesses and their customers right at the crucial point when they are trying to win trust and build a relationship (think marketing collateral, sales pitches, proposals and contracts), have largely remained static.

We believe there is an opportunity to reimagine these interactions.

Forget sales reps taking hours to manually create ugly and uninspiring proposals and attaching them to an email as a PDF. Instead imagine a visually compelling, customised 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. And you’re able to access full analytics on document interactions throughout this seamless customer flow.

In this new world, enterprises ensure there is a consistent, high quality customer facing brand. Their customer facing teams (sales, marketing, customer success) are empowered to spend more time on meaningful customer interactions and less time formatting static documents and updating internal systems.

This is the future Qwilr has been creating since 2014.

The Qwilr team has been laser focused on designing beautiful simplicity since day one. The visual wow factor when a recipient opens a Qwilr document not only helps Qwilr’s customers close more business, it also drives strong product virality for Qwilr itself. Many of Qwilr’s largest customers have found them through another business pitching to them with a Qwilr!

Staying in touch

We first met the Qwilr team ahead of their seed round in 2016. Embarrassingly for us, we didn’t reach the point of investing but we did introduce the founders Dylan and Mark to Point Nine, a European VC that went on to lead Qwilr’s $2m seed round.

Over the past few years, we’ve followed Qwilr’s journey closely and we’ve been continuously impressed with the team and their execution. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and we wish now that we’d invested at the seed round! The reality is investors make mistakes — we aren’t too proud to say we sometimes miss investments we should’ve made and we pay the price by literally having to pay a higher price to be part of the journey at the next round.

Full credit to Mark and Dylan — they realised our ‘no’ didn’t mean a ‘never’ and they happily proved us wrong. They stayed close to the AirTree team, attended our events and kept in touch with us via regular updates after their seed round.

Our screw up and Qwilr’s brilliant execution meant by the time they came around to raise their series A, we were very familiar with the team, their vision and their progress and we were delighted when they agreed to have us lead their series A.

Culture and Principles

Last year the AirTree team relooked at our investment papers dating back to 2014 and reflected on the journey for each company since our original investment.

One thing stood out loud and clear. The companies with the strongest cultures at the time of our investment were able to use this advantage to hire the best talent and further excel. On the flipside, if we had any doubts about team culture at the time of investment, these concerns often materialised and significantly impacted the ability of the company to successfully scale.

Culture is a hard thing to quantify and while there is no perfect science to determining a ‘strong culture’, we aspire to understand a company’s culture well before we partner with them.

What does this mean in practice? In Qwilr’s case, the AirTree team spent hours in Qwilr’s office with zero agenda. We met with every team member while we were there. Some conversations were short, others were much longer. In every case, Qwilr’s principles and their culture of excellence, openness and collaboration shone through.

You can get your own feel for Qwilr’s culture by checking out their jobs page… consider throwing in an application while you’re there ;)

We are beyond excited to be announcing our investment in Qwilr today and we look forward to being a part of their journey over the years to come.