Verdant Frontiers isn’t your average startup investor: since its inception in 2013, this venture capital company has poured $77 million into the African economy through large-scale local business development. In addition to providing the early-stage capital to get each project off the ground, Verdant Frontiers’ expert advisory teams help guide the entrepreneurial process along, with the goal of creating poverty-fighting economic forces that employ and uplift local populations.
“We come into these communities and say, ‘What can they produce here? What could happen in this community that the rest of the world needs?'” said Co-Founder Levi Benkert. Verde Beef Processing, a beef producer and exporter, and Kizo Lodge, a hotel and restaurant centered around ecotourism, are two of the projects in Verdant Frontiers’ portfolio. Both companies are located in Ethiopia.
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From purchase orders to employee reports, receipts, and invoices, the company handles a near-constant inflow and outflow of paperwork – and with offices across the globe, Verdant Frontiers can’t rely on snail mail and couriers if they want to impact 1 million African lives by 2025. They needed a solution that could keep their investor relations fluid and professional, and connect their worldwide offices with ease. The company chose SignEasy because, according to Benkert, “Without this technology, it would be absolutely impossible to do what we do.”
– Signing on the go
With a head office in Austin, TX and projects unfolding across Africa, Verdant Frontiers’ co-founders are a jet-setting bunch. According to Emily Mihailoff, who handles the company’s investor relations, “SignEasy helps our cofounders a lot while they’re on the go. The beauty of the technology behind SignEasy means we can use it everywhere.”
– Lightning-fast turnaround times
The ability to close deals quickly is every business’s dream – especially when communities in need depend on it! “I’ve had an instance where an investor literally, within seconds of sending to the document through SignEasy, was able to finalize everything in under a minute,” said Mihailoff. Now that’s what we call sealing the deal.
– Facilitating mission success
SignEasy is a key element in Verdant Frontiers’ ability to raise money to fund their projects. Without eSignatures, there can be no investments. “The documents that I’m sending out represent subscriptions by investors, so it could be $1M going into our companies to create an impact in Africa,” said Mihailoff. “The type of paperwork that’s going in and out is very significant.”
– Conveniently paperless
When companies say goodbye to paper, they say hello to productivity. “There was a push over the last several years to go paperless, because it’s more convenient for a company like ours with offices all over the world,” said Benkert. “It’s not an option, it’s an absolute essential for us as a company.”