Endeca is the gift that keeps on giving for the Boston tech scene.
Following the Cambridge tech company’s $1.1 billion sale to Oracle in 2011, former employees have gone on to found Toast, a restaurant software startup that employs about 500 people and has raised over $133 million from investors, including Al Gore’s firm. Salsify, another company founded by Endeca alumni, has more than 100 employees and raised more than $54 million. Endeca alumni have also gone on to start companies like Sprout Social, Kyruus and Infinio.
One startup from the Endeca gang that has been fairly quiet is Shoobx, a Boston-based venture that streamlines a company’s legal operations. But that all starts to change on Tuesday when the company — which has raised more than $10 million in capital, with Endeca founder Steve Papa as its lead investor — hosts its inaugural Drive conference. Shoobx aims to close the education gap for entrepreneurs when it comes to the legal aspects of running a startup, from incorporating a business and fundraising and granting equity.
Jason Furtado, who founded Shoobx after serving as a product manager at Endeca, told BostInno that he conceived the idea for Shoobx with Papa based on the former Endeca CEO’s experience of dealing with Endeca’s legal complexities. (Furtado disclosed Shoobx’s fundraising total and Papa’s involvement as an investor to BostInno.)
“He noticed nothing had changed since 1999,” Furtado, Shoobx’s CEO, said, adding that most of a company’s legal work has been through Word documents and PDFs that were constantly sent back and forth over email.
One of the larger issues, Furtado said, is that most entrepreneurs aren’t legal experts, so that can result in extra work and mistakes. For example, Furtado said, he remembers looking at the capitalization table of a company and realized that the company never granted equity to its employees because the company’s leadership assumed the offer letters covered everything.
“Most entrepreneurs don’t get into a company to do organizational paperwork,” he said.
Another issue is that a company’s attorney often has to spend a substantial amount of time working on paperwork, which can take time away from more important things, such as negotiating contracts or advising on a company’s strategy, Furtado said.
With Shoobx’s platform, it can streamline many legal aspects of a company, “from formation to exit,” as Shoobx’s website states. This includes helping employees easily access important documents and monitor their stock options, tracking approvals from board members and streamlines the due diligence process for fundraising, the latter of which Furtado says can save companies thousands of dollars.
“Our primary goal right now is to figure out a way to bring our product to a broader audience.”
Furtado said there are over 300 companies currently using Shoobx, though he declined to disclose how many of them are paying clients. One of Shoobx’s most prominent clients is Toast, which has a lengthy case study on Shoobx’s website.
“When I look at the all the facets of running the corporate part of our company, Shoobx has been a key success factor for us,” Toast CEO Chris Comparato said in the study.
The company has also received buy-in from two law firms, Goodwin Procter and DLA Piper, in the form of partnerships that allow the law firms to use Shoobx with their clients.
Shoobx has been mostly quiet up until this year, Furtado said, because it was focused on getting the product right. For a while, in fact, the company wasn’t even charging for anyone to use the product, but it then added a paid subscription component about a year ago.
“We’ve been a little bit quiet intentionally as we’ve been building out the feature set as people interact with the platform,” Furtado said.
Next year, however, that is set to change. Furtado said that’s when the company, which has about 30 employees, will start to focus more aggressively on acquiring new customers. Whether or not that requires a new financing round remains to be determined, he added.
“Our primary goal right now is to figure out a way to bring our product to a broader audience,” Furtado said.
BostInno readers can use the discount code “LastMinute” to get 50 percent off their ticket for the Shoobx Drive conference, which happens on Tuesday, Nov. 14.