CEO REVIEW: The year that made a huge difference

It’s again time for my annual review as the CEO of Zefort. Compared to last year’s post, the change in my photo also says a lot about Zefort – we’re getting faster, more ambitious and we’re reaching out to wider, vast international waters.

Personally, I was lucky enough to enjoy a refreshing holiday (I hope you did, too). Summer is also a perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading list – that’s why I included some book recommendations at the end of the post.

This year, it was easy to pick out the three things that stood out and made a major difference for the company. Check them out below!

Senior professionals joined the sales and marketing team

During the last year, we made key additions to our business team: Richard Löfgreen joined as the Country Manager for Norway and Sweden, Heikki Sivonen started as Zefort’s Chief Marketing Officer, and last but not least Ilkka Ventus became Zefort’s Chief Business Officer. Richard became our first full-time team member outside Finland, our home market.

All these hires support the same exact strategy: as our product has proven to be successful and gain traction in the Finnish market, we are now scaling up and expanding to new international markets while keeping our ears open to customer needs and requirements.

And on the topic of gaining traction…

Zefort hits 1 MEUR in annual recurring revenue

In Q1 2022, we reached an important milestone for any software-as-a-service company: an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of 1 million Euros. Each new subscription customer, big and small, adds to the recurring revenue stream.

In addition to being a major financial milestone, breaking the 1MEUR ARR threshold was also mentally a big deal, too. We have built our business with cash-flow financing without venture capital. We’re humbled to have many customers who have stuck with us from the beginning – in fact, only a few customers have decided to stop using Zefort throughout the company history.

Once again: a huge thank you to our customers, team and partners!

Easy eSignatures with Zefort Sign launched

As our biggest product update of the year, we launched the Zefort Sign eSigning service in Q2, 2022. Zefort Sign allows companies to both sign and archive contracts under one seamless solution.

Electronic signatures have taken the market by storm and are getting increasingly popular. There are many excellent eSignature services available – with Zefort Sign, we wanted to introduce a seamless experience for existing Zefort customers. While doing so, we still continue to support other eSignature services and partners through integrations.

Zefort Sign is the fruit of a collective team effort. I’m still amazed by what our small but resourceful team can achieve.

Looking to the future

In addition to the highlights above, there was much more to the past year, including signing important deals with new customers and hundreds of discussions with our customers and partners. These dialogues are the basis of what lies ahead.

Going forward, we will soon strengthen our development team with several senior experts. We have exciting new releases lined up in our product roadmap. We’re looking forward to releasing news on new deals and welcoming more and more international customers.

By the looks of it, we’re not slowing down one bit. It’s going to be a fun year!

Jussi Karttila, Zefort CEO


BONUS: Book recommendations!

Books, no matter if you consume them through your eyes or ears, are an excellent way to get some time for your thoughts and expand your thinking. Here’s a couple of titles that I enjoyed recently:

The Kingdom by Jo Nesbø, the Norwegian bestselling author, is a good piece of thrilling, eye-grabbing entertainment and a solid detective story. Even if you’re not a fan of Nesbø’s Harry Hole series (confession: I’m not a fan), this one is worth checking out.

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder, a financier and political activist, is a very topical book today due to the current state of Russia. In his book, Browder describes how he became Putin’s enemy when leading the largest international investment fund in Russia.

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