Kanata-based ProntoForms continues to grow in the expanding mobile technology market, but the growth has not yet meant profitability.
ProntoForms is an electronic forms service that offers businesses an alternative to paper forms. This service is accessible on mobile devices and available on a subscription basis. The company offers pre-made and custom forms for more than 25 industries including healthcare, construction, restaurants and transportation.
There are more than 3,500 businesses that use ProntoForms, including partnerships with Apple, Blackberry, Samsung, Panasonic, and many others to provide accessible service for customers.
In its third quarter ended September 30, ProntoForms reported a net loss was $560,737, compared to 2the same quarter’s loss of $313,260 in 2014.
Despite failing turn a profit since its inception “we believe that our cash on hand as at the date of this report is sufficient to fund our operations through at least 2016,” says the company in the MD&A document released with the quarterly results.
Spending more on marketing
One of the largest expenses this quarter was selling and marketing at $1.3 million, up from $753,832 in the same quarter a year earlier.
That’s because the company has grown.
When Mark Scott, the company’s vice-president of marketing, started with ProntoForms nearly five years ago, he was the only member of the marketing team.
“Today we’re 8 people and we’ll be hiring at least two more in the coming 90 days,” says Scott in an email interview.
Scott said that the marketing budget includes the team salaries, travelling, outbound marketing, inbound marketing, advertising, trade shows and partner events.
“Helping the sales team meet and surpass objectives is job one for any marketing team,” Scott says.
Despite the annual losses, ProntoForms’ revenue has steadily increased since 2010. It stood at $2.4 million this quarter, up 42 per cent from this period last year at $1.7 million.
The recurring revenue is up 72 per cent this quarter at $2.2 million compared to 2014’s third quarter $1.3 million.
Marketing is not the only department that is growing at ProntoForms. Mats Lindeberg has been communications manager at the company for only three months, and notes the staff has grown to 75 from 45 in the past year. Lindeberg said that ProntoForms could be closer to 120 employees by next year.
A growing business
“The company is growing at a steady rate, and there are business reasons for that. We are in a market that is expanding rapidly,” says Lindeberg.
“Mobile technology, as sort of the overarching industry, is exploding. That’s where all the growth is, that’s where people are investing money, developing new apps, developing new phones, the networks are expanding and made faster and more reliable.”
Lindeberg says there are around ten competitors in the field, but that they are more focused on individual areas or only offer forms for specific industries.
“We see ourselves as an end-to-end solution,” Lindeberg says, “where we are capable of changing the entire workflow for different kinds industries. We’re very flexible—our technology is truly leading edge.”
Movers Specialty Service has been using ProntoForms since 2012. Michael Mudditt, the vice president of technical services for the Pennsylvania-based company, says since they switched to ProntoForms from paper forms, they are able to bill customers “24 hours ahead of time.”
“We have about 250 companies with about between five to 10 trucks, each in various large cities around the country,” says Mudditt. “And each of their trucks carries now a smartphone with ProntoForms on it.”
Listening to customers
Mudditt says that the customer support from ProntoForms is great because they are easy to reach, and always respond in “a very positive and affirmative manner.” He says Movers Specialty Service and ProntoForms have a great working relationship.
“We made suggestions over the years to make improvements and they took those suggestions and implemented them,” said Mudditt. “In fact, customers also put in suggestions and they got implemented, and we benefited from them as well. It’s really a two way street. We talk to them a lot.”
In September 2015, Beacon Securities Limited arranged a bought deal private placement of ProntoForms shares worth $3.45 million. As of Dec. 3, 2015, ProntoForms’ shares are on the Toronto Stock Exchange for $0.33.
“It’s great to be part of a company that has great momentum,” said Lindeberg. “We’re partnering with the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft, so we’re working with big companies who are interested in what we’re doing and they think we have a good thing going. We have some cool projects on the go that we think will be well received in the market.”