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Nintex CEO Eric Johnson. (Nintex Photo)

Nintex, the Bellevue, Wash.-based workflow automation company, announced this morning that it is getting into the electronic signature business.

In a direct challenge to electronic signature company DocuSign, which was once based in Seattle and is one of the biggest players in the space, Nintex said it has partnered with Adobe Sign to offer its own electronic signature service alongside its existing automation applications.

The company said Nintex Sign, as the service is called, is designed allow large organizations to complete transactions requiring signatures as part of other automated processes, such as generating disclosure and closing documents. Organizations using Nintex’s platform include enterprises, financial services companies, government agencies, healthcare providers and manufacturers, among others.

Asked in an interview if Nintex intended to directly challenge DocuSign, which pulled in more than $518 million in revenues and raised $629 million in an IPO last year, Nintex CEO Eric Johnson said, “Of course.”

The global digital signature market is expected to reach more than $4 billion by 2023, nearly quadrupling from $845 million as of 2017.

The growth is expected to be driven by wider adoption of cloud services and biometrics technology as well as increasing regulations and security concerns. In addition to Adobe Sign, other key players in the space include OneSpan Sign and SIGNiX.

Nintex earned more than $100 million in revenues last year and expects to close more than $150 million in revenues this year, Johnson said. About 8,500 organizations across 90 countries use Nintex’s services, according to the company. Nintex, which employs 500 worldwide with about 130 workers at its Bellevue headquarters, ranks 12th in the GeekWire 200.

Johnson said the Adobe partnership came together over the last three months after customers, some of whom had been using DocuSign in conjunction with Nintex’s automations, began asking for the service.

“Could we just buy it all from you?” Johnson recalled customers asking.

“For a lot of folks, this is going to be simpler,” he said.

Johnson said he expects some Nintex customers will continue using DocuSign, which is now based in San Francisco but keeps its largest office in Seattle.

“We’re fine with that,” Johnson said of his customers sticking with DocuSign. “We do believe in customer choice.”

An example of one of Nintex’s automated workflows. (Nintex Image)

One distinction between the companies: Johnson said Nintex Sign is squarely targeted at enterprises — that is, businesses with around 200 employees or more who face more demanding regulatory requirements and bulkier workloads whereas DocuSign could suit the needs of a smaller business processing fewer signed documents.

Nintex provides software and services that examine an organization’s work processes, such as using too much paper or relying too heavily on email, then designs automated workloads that free up employees to do other things. Customers needn’t to know how to code to use the services, Johnson said.

In the case of Nintex’s new electronic signature service, Johnson said a financial management company signing a new client might already have automated workflows that generate approval documents, route contracts through the compliance department and deliver welcome packets. The new Nintex Sign service would allow that company to close the deal with signed and verified documents in a process that’s linked to those other automations.

Editor’s Note: Reference to OneSpan Sign updated since original post.

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