Zendoc acquisition by Sirionlabs Image by Alexa from Pixabay SirionLabs has announced the acquisition of Zendoc, an AI-powered contract Automation Platform, Zendoc. Zendoc was founded in 2018 by Laurent Lathieyre and Olivier Colle. It was incorporated under Kenzai Intelligent Systems, raising initial pre-seed funding of at least $300,000. It is still a small firm and lists only 6 employees on Linked, though it claims more than 11 on its profile page.

The company was backed by Tom Williams, Runa Capital and Techstars. While the press release did not announce the terms of the deal, Deal Street Asia reported that the firm paid around $3 million for the company, with Sirion Labs allowing 303501 shares at $9.852997 to Zendoc through a reverse triangular merger, registered in Singapore.

The deal sees SirionLabs establish a Centre of Excellence (COE) in Nice, France, based on the team from Zendocs. It hopes to expand the COE further by attracting talent from across Europe. Laurent Lathieyre, CEO of Zendoc, will become Head of Post Signature Applications at SirionLabs.

Lathieyre commented, “Joining forces with Sirion and establishing the Engineering CoE enables us to fuel innovation that makes enterprise contracting simpler, smarter and more intuitive—as well as reaching scale to achieve a data network effect. Nice and the French Riviera have earned a reputation as an elite incubator for tech innovators, and the new CoE strengthens our ability to attract the very best engineering talent to the Sirion team.”

The acquisition is partly funded by the $85 million series D funding round that SirionLabs completed earlier this year led by Partners Group.

Acqui-hire or acquisition?

Ajay Agrawal, CEO and founder of SirionLabs (Image credit Linkedin)
Ajay Agrawal, CEO and founder of SirionLabs

While the term acquisition is used in the press release, the language feels more like this is an acquihire. Ajay Agrawal, co-founder and CEO of SirionLabs, commented, “The war for talent is global, and we’re thrilled to be adding such skilled professionals to the Sirion team as well as gaining a foothold in a key region for tech development. Their world-class engineering expertise moves the needle on our data-centric approach to building a better, faster, more powerful CLM platform.”

There is no mention of what will happen to the Zendoc platform, nor the impact on customers such as Lynden, myelephant, S4M, Sality, Volleyball World or Adactive Asia. Will they keep the platform active and move customers to SirionLabs? Will they close the platform entirely, or will they develop it as a separate solution?

The Zendoc platform consists of four solutions:

  • Zengo: Contract Management software with integrations to file storage and email
  • Zendiscover: A contract discovery solution that finds and extracts contracts for cloud and email services.
  • Zensearch: An AI-powered solution to extract contracts’ key terms and information from various file formats
  • Zenalert: A notification solution that alerts users when actions are needed

It is unclear whether any of this technology complements the SirionLabs solution or even if it will be embedded into the platform. The Zendocs engineers will bring the knowledge to develop similar solutions and enhancements based on AI models to the SironLabs platform. The intent is to ensure these developments improve productivity gains, reduce contract risk and decrease contract value leakage.

The Zendocs team also brings the latest user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) skills to improve the SirionLabs platform and enhance its leadership position in the CLM market.

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Is this the end of the Zendocs platform? How will SirionLabs retain the team in Nice? These are always tricky questions during acquihire. Co-founder and CTO Olivier Colle is not joining SirionLabs as part of this deal. He has already picked up a role at Meta as Director of Engineering.

With the filing in Singapore predating the announcement and the dust settling over the deal, it seems as though this is more of an acquihire than an acquisition. It delivers SirionLabs a second COE in France to add to the one it already has in Toronto. It should accelerate platform development, which will only be a good thing for customers.

SirionLabs Update (posted 9th November)

In response to the questions raised above SirionLabs issued the following responses:

What will happen to Zendoc customers?

“Through this acquisition, SirionLabs will absorb Zendoc’s customers, IP, office locations and employees. These will be integrated with SirionLabs’ existing ecosystem over the course of this year.”

What will happen to the Zendoc/Sirion platforms?

“The primary objective of this deal was to bring onboard tech visionaries and CLM innovators from Zendoc to help to innovate SirionOne’s user interface to provide stellar UX. Zendoc’s user interface, which is known for its ease of use, and will be a key component in taking SirionOne’s search and auto-extraction experience to the next level. Meanwhile, Zendoc customers will gain access to a full-stack CLM solution that enables them to go beyond authoring contracts and manage post-signature performance to get greater value out of their commercial contracts.”


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