Artificial intelligence

Cheers to Contract Lifecycle Management: The Growth of Malbek


It started over wine, and the founders of this CLM software used their experiences to create something next-gen in the space

Contract management is often needlessly complicated. On the receiving end, it may not seem like much for most people, but there are many complexities involved. These complexities, which can often become bottlenecks, include the creation of the contracts themselves, negotiation, approvals, execution, and analysis to maximize performance and reduce risk. Sales teams can get bogged down with the contract tasks, which may impact deal cycles and time to revenue.

Legal teams are often involved in crafting agreements and have to ensure that all parties are satisfied while meeting applicable rules and regulations. When this is done manually it can be an inefficient process. Contract approvals can be painfully slow, especially when revisions are coming from multiple stakeholders, which is probably where the expression “hammering out a contract” comes from. 

The Conversation That Started It All

This was something that bothered Hemanth Puttaswamy, the CEO and co-founder of contract lifecycle management solution Malbek, when he was previously an executive in a public company. Puttaswamy’s sales team often had to navigate broken contract management processes, including trouble with tracking contract obligations for finance and customer support teams. 

Puttaswamy shared these frustrations with two of his associates, Madhu Poolu, and Matt Patel, who were experts in contract lifecycle management. While discussing the gaps in the process, they agreed that contracts are among the most important assets for companies because they can either positively or adversely impact top and bottom-line success. 

Over a casual dinner meeting, the trio discussed the idea of starting their own company to make contracting seamless for businesses. Once they decided to form the company, they raised their glasses of Malbec, which ultimately became the company name, and toasted to the future. Malbek was officially founded. 

Combining Their Powers

Puttaswamy, Poolu (CTO), and Patel (COO) knew they had to tap into their strongest suits to ensure the success and longevity of their project.

Puttaswamy had experience as a CTO with three consecutive exits in different solution spaces. He previously went to university with Poolu, an exceptionally talented engineer there. They met Patel, who is a CLM practitioner and an expert in implementing CLM solutions for companies like GE Aviation, while working at Revitas, an enterprise software company that specialized in revenue management.

As the new Malbek product team grew, they empowered each member to pitch in on product design ideas and incorporated their unique perspectives which collectively created Malbek, the CLM solution that transforms contract documents into living, breathing, actionable business assets.

The Final Product

Malbek empowers business users to take control through self-service configurability. Their proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) engine and powerful search and filter capabilities enable sales, legal, finance, and procurement teams to harness the insights found in contract data. This helps to accelerate deal cycles and protect profit margins.

The AI-enabled CLM solution offers many features that cover all bases, including a searchable contract repository; contract request and assembly; intelligent clause playbook; redlining, negotiations, and review; mobile approvals; integrations with common business applications like; and much more. 

The user interface of this robust platform is as simple as using an ATM and offers a low total cost of ownership on the market due to self-service configuration tools. It also has a patent-pending AI engine for pre-signature contract optimization and post-signature contract analysis.

Success All Around

Malbek is currently used by many big brands, each of whom have done enterprise-wide global deployments across multiple departments.

The company also managed to thrive through the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Malbek closed $3M in funding with Osage Venture Partners, which was their fourth round and brought total funding to $5.3M. “It’s a true honor to be part of the Osage Venture Partners family,” said Puttaswamy. “The emphasis they place on collaborative company culture resonated profoundly with us. We have been a very disciplined team, innovating at a breakneck pace and signing numerous customers in the last few months alone. This capital will help us accelerate to the next level of growth.”

There is still much in store for Malbek. They will continue to invest in product innovation, including AI, and will continue to grow their sales, marketing, and customer experience teams to reach larger markets while continuing to be at the forefront of modern contract management solutions.

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