Superace Software Technology Co. Ltd. (referred to as "Superace" in the market) has announced its completion of the Pre-A investment round with an investment worth tens of millions of CNY. The investment round was led by Hanyi, along with the participation of Heguang Investment and Tanikawa Capital. These funds are believed to be utilized for product development, team building, and marketing.
Superace was founded in September 2021 as a global SaaS company for editing and content creation on PDF documents. UPDF became their "star" product, officially launching in July 2022. Introducing this PDF editor in the market, it is a multi-functional project with independent property rights which is a suitable aspect for desktop and mobile users. Not only does it allow you to edit and read PDF documents, but it also allows you to manage and annotate PDF files properly.
PDFs are believed to be the most widely used document formats, leading to creating of office software such as Gemini and strengthening document platforms like Microsoft Word. Throughout its development, creating, converting, and editing PDFs was a complex process requiring technical expertise for proper execution.
As a result, only a few SaaS and software companies could master the technologies used for creating PDF functionalities. Adobe is believed to have a fair share of the PDF market for its hold in the technology, with a small percentage dedicated to other manufacturers.
The demand for PDF as a file format has exceptionally increased in the official sector. With the idea to induce a paperless environment, the utility of PDF files is growing drastically; Roc, the found of Superace, has recognized the popularity of PDFs as 1.3 times greater than the generic Office documents in Google Trends. Furthermore, it also depicts that the industry's compound annual growth can increase up to 30% annually.
Seeing the potential in the industry, Roc, who has an experience of over ten years in managing tool products and held the position of General Manager of a department in a listed company, assembled a core team of industry veterans. The team's core members belonged to renowned companies of Wondershare, Huawei, and Tencent with strong R&D in management and overseas marketing of PDF projects.
UPDF has recognized the pain points in the market, where most software providers are piling up features but comprise the inadequate coverage of the needs of the users and the high learning curves in multiple software for managing PDF documents. Along with the lack of content templates and collaborative tools in the traditional software, the products came with high subscriptions ranging from an annual fee of US$100-US$239. This essentially hindered the overall adoption of the tools and technology.
To counter all pain points, UPDF made multiple adjustments to its product. While simplifying the functions of reading, annotation, editing, forms, batch processing, and document signatures into 40 + useful features, the product stood out in offering much more than the 140+ functions complicated and useless features existing in the industry. UPDF is induced with the rendering engine of games for processing documents, which has changed the efficiency of the product. Not only does it improve the user experience, but it also addresses all the shortcomings of the major PDF tools.
According to Roc, "In the industrial manufacturing industry, the files used are relatively large. We have done a set of tests to open a 5GB PDF document. Some manufacturers' products take at least 10 seconds, and some manufacturers directly freeze and crash. But UPDF only needs 3-4 seconds." The PDF editor also provides a cross-platform experience with high compatibility.
UPDF creates a huge price difference gap in the market. With an annual fee of $39.99, it turns out to be 70% lesser in amount than other PDF software. It also creates a significant difference with access to multiple devices with a single account, whereas most PDF software limit access to a single device. To clarify, users can log in to multiple devices, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, with a single account. It is a substantial cost-reducing feature offered by UPDF.
UPDF aims to serve B-end and C-end customers with the help of its digital asset management solutions. Craig, the co-founder of UPDF, realized the struggle of document preservation in many enterprises, with a growing need to build dedicated digital assets. UPDF provides these enterprises with a comprehensive document creation, storage, collaboration, and management system. This is why UPDF is different from the traditional C manufacturers, where it also introduced the concept of document management for B-end users.
The profit model for UPDF covers offering basic products and services for free with a revenue-generating model through its SaaS subscription model for value-added services. The advanced functions, elements, and cloud service is believed to be part of the subscription model. Under this particular revenue model, UPDF has generated a global revenue of one million CNY within three months. They operate in the overseas market, with 120,000 registered users and 10,000 paid customers.
As per the statements made by Roc, content creation is the direction of development for UPDF. Although it is believed that streaming documents offer more freedom in making changes, PDFs are often utilized as the second layer of document editing. While the technology matures, the liberty of editing in PDFs is equivalent to that of streaming documents. UPDF plans to opt for using templates that are suitable for users with the help of artificial intelligence. This will be achieved with the help of professional characteristics that are used to assist users.
From the investors' perspective:
Lianyuan, the Secretary of the Board of Hanyi, stated, "Investing in Superace is an important layout of Hanyi in the field of document editing, which will enable the company to provide customers with extended services related to font copyright. For Hanyi, font products can be embedded in UPDF, where individual users and enterprise users can choose when editing documents, which can solve user pain points and enable the company to obtain more potential business opportunities. In the future, the company will actively explore existing products and new products and UPDF products and resources, or model collaboration, and jointly innovate in the fields of document editing, creative design, material resources, etc. Investing in UPDF is conducive to the company's deployment of innovation industries, and the use of independent software to develop commercial markets to obtain incremental income."
The chairman of Tanikawa Capital, Xu Jia, said, "Investing in UPDF is our continued optimism about the basic office software industry, especially in the past few years when technology, fundamental software, has been stuck. It is a kind of "possibility" to participate in the development of basic productivity software and serve 1 billion Internet users in China and even the world. It is only a small effort to look back on the history of Academician Ni Guangnan's office software. We were very optimistic about UPDF and its team's technical accumulation and overseas experience in layout documents from the very beginning."
Zheng Youhao, the managing partner of Heguang Investment, said, "Layout documents are one of the ultimate carriers of digital content and also the essential basic application software. We are very optimistic about the capabilities of the UPDF team in R&D, products, operations, marketing, and going overseas. Polish and iterate products based on user needs, and create various possibilities for applying layout documents. As a completely independent and controllable PDF software, I hope the company can seize market opportunities and become a product-driven growth under the SaaS model (PLG) and a new force in the innovation industry."
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