In 2016, Diony and I were both working jobs in tech, and we had a number of friends and colleagues asking us to create bespoke forms for events and products that could take payments. We realized that there was nothing on the market for both mobile and desktop that was easy to use, beautiful, and customizable.
The friends who were approaching us already had strong local brands in place and were really looking for something that could let their brand shine through and be fed to their audience as they saw fit. They wanted to take control but needed a whole lot of help doing it. So, we started thinking about how we could make a form builder that’s “bespoke for everyone,” and Paperform was born. Our mission is to democratize digital creation.
Paperform is all about easily creating forms that embody your project or business, sharing those with your community, and taking payments without fuss. We want to empower people to create forms that are truly theirs. While our forms are very versatile, we find people especially love to use them for a form-landing page hybrid.
How Paperform is different from other No-Code platforms?
No-Code platforms are a whole class of software. We would call it any software that’s designed to make it possible for non-technical people to build their own technical solutions with no or very minimal code. Paperform is first and foremost a form builder, so we stand apart from other popular no-code platforms that are aiming at different problems like Notion, Airtable, or Bubble.
We view ourselves as a no-code platform because we have gone the extra step to give our users as much control as possible to be able to build a wide range of solutions with our software. So while the primary use case of Paperform is to make forms, we see a wide variety in the kinds of forms that are made and other clever solutions created using Paperform.
How has COVID-19 affected Paperform?
Overall, Paperform has been positively affected by COVID-19. As our primary market is small businesses looking for online forms, and COVID-19 has brought about a large scale shift of business processes to online, we’ve been very fortunate to see growth far beyond what we were projecting prior to the pandemic.
Of course, we have seen a slight increase in the volume of customers canceling, but it is outweighed by the increase in new customers.
Has COVID-19 affected how Paperform’s clients use/interact with the product?
One of our favorite things about Paperform is how versatile the product is, and how it can be used for such a wide variety of use-cases across different industries and business sizes. In normal times, we see common use-cases from event registration, through to client onboarding, booking forms, feedback, and HR.
What we’ve seen during COVID-19 is an increase in use-cases around e-commerce and education, like online ordering forms, menus, quizzes, and product landing pages. It’s also quite common to see people using Paperform for many, completely different use-cases. A personal trainer could be using Paperform for class signups, ad landing pages, or booking one-on-one sessions. A school might use Paperform to take event signups, run a fundraiser, and survey parents.
Tell us about your COVID-19 financial relief program.
We realized early on during the pandemic that Paperform could be a really useful tool for businesses scrambling to take their businesses online, and we want to support businesses who are facing difficult times. We run a financial relief program (https://paperform.co/covid) for Paperform users in affected industries to apply for relief. We review these and when appropriate give customers a partial or full discount for a three month period.
USP of Paperform?
Paperform differentiates from other form builders in a few significant ways:
Payments: we support product management, subscriptions, anzd multiple payment gateways.
Intuitive editing experience: Creating forms on Paperform is like writing a doc, you can freely add text, images, videos, questions, and page breaks to the page to create your form; no need to drag and drop a single element at a time.
Beautiful: Our forms can be styled to look like your brand, not ours.
Powerful: With our flexible editor and over 20 field types, you can create very powerful forms and interactive content.
What was behind the decision to bootstrap vs seeking outside funding?
We started Paperform as a lifestyle business and didn’t want external pressure to grow fast. We sold a lifetime deal as a part of our initial launch strategy, which gave us the small amount of capital we needed to be able to go all-in on growing Paperform for ourselves.
Since then, we’ve emphatically decided that Paperform isn’t a lifestyle business! We’re not against ever taking funding, but we’re in a position where revenue is able to sustain our growth plans, and we wouldn’t take external capital without a very strong plan of how we would strategically spend it.
Tell us about one of the unique ways you’ve seen a client utilize Paperform.
We’ve seen everything from “choose-your-own-adventure” style interactive content, to slide decks, to selling flowers online. One unique use case we’ve seen in the past year is using our appointments scheduling question type along with payments to streamline the process for service workers. For example, I’m a consultant and I want people to be able to book a 30-minute session with me and pay for it at the same time. With a combination of appointment fields and some pricing calculations, you then can have a single form that does both in the same flow.
Are there any new areas where Paperform is looking to expand?
We’re constantly looking for ways to make Paperform even more useful to our customers, and to new industries. A big part of this is learning what problems people are experiencing and creating helpful resources to educate them on how Paperform can help.
We want to help small business owners to be able to solve their own problem