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Interview with Monish Darda, Founder of Contract Management Software Product Company ICERTIS

ICERTIS is a Pune-based software product company that makes cloud-based contract management software. Yesterday, they announced that they have raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Ignition Partners, and existing investors Greycroft Partners and Fidelity Growth Partners India.

ICERTIS is a provider of contract lifecycle management (CLM) in the cloud. In the last year itself the company signed on clients like Cognizant, HBO and Airtel. In addition to helping users create contracts, the software provided by the company also tracks when terms are met, ensures regulatory compliance, and automates administrative tasks like sending renewal reminders.

We took this opportunity to catch up with Co-Founder and CTO, Monish Darda.

Congratulations on the new funding round. Can you discuss some of the funding details, and the expansion plans.

Thanks! We announced our Series B funding today – we raised $15 million, led by Ignition Partners and current investors – Fidelity and Greycroft. We plan to use the funds to expand our global operations, invest in marketing, and further enhance the Icertis Contract Management platform.

Can you talk about the vision for ICERTIS, and the product direction?

Our vision is to apply the cloud to unlock the power of contracts. The cloud has enabled the extended enterprise to be connected in ways unimaginable just a few years ago, and we are at the forefront of that technology revolution, helping the business get better and more efficient. We were one of the first Cloud Software Vendors to build on Microsoft Azure – Icertis Contract Management has evolved into a powerful platform for managing all types of contracts and is super easy to use, getting the consumer experience to enterprise apps. We will continue to build on that platform.

What is ‘Contract Management’, and how does software help in improving this business process?

Contracts bring the enterprise together – whether you are hiring, or acquiring a company and everything in between, you have a contract to make that happen. Icertis Contract Management (ICM), is a cloud-based contract lifecycle management platform designed to help global enterprises turn its contracts into powerful business assets. ICM provides a 360-degree view into an organization’s contract operations to increase compliance, improve governance, mitigate risk and enhance user productivity.

What are the industries, market segments where the ICERTIS Contract Management Solution is deployed? Can you talk about any customer examples?

Icertis Contract Management is deployed across many industries and market segments as it is able to manage all types of contracts. The platform is used to manage over 2 million contracts in 40+ languages by over 500,000+ users in 150+ countries. We have an elite roster of customers including Becton Dickinson, Cognizant, HBO, Microsoft, and Skullcandy; all of which use ICM to enhance productivity, increase commercial compliance, improve governance, and mitigate risk.

Can you discuss some of the technology issues in the solution? What are the technical challenges?

We developed the Icertis Contract Management platform Cloud First. This Born-in-the-Cloud Enterprise App sent some unique and interesting challenges our way: around security, robustness and integration. Cloud development philosophy is “loosely coupled,” bringing with it a different way of thinking, and attention to detail. We have explored the nooks and crannies of Azure, we use almost all PaaS services that Microsoft Azure provides – I don’t think there is so much Azure expertise concentrated so much anywhere else! Keeping up with the platform, and adopting it to deliver a best in class platform has been challenging, fun and fulfilling.

Can you share some thoughts about your entrepreneurial journey so far? What advice would you have founders who are just getting started with their startup venture?

I love the excitement. Entrepreneurship is in my bloodstream, and it is a high! Two bits of advice: First, go all in. You have to believe from day 0 that you are going to make it, so don’t hold back; if you don’t, it is not for you. Second, don’t overthink. That leads to starting trouble, procrastination and loss of confidence. Doing things and being smart about knowing your boundaries really helps!

This is an exciting time for India – the land of opportunity is here, nowhere else. Grab it with all you have got.

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