By Dan Anderson
February 3, 2020
Accessibility-as-a-Service company eSSENTIAL Accessibility recently announced it closed $16 million in funding led by Lead Edge Capital. This round of funding will provide eSSENTIAL Accessibility with resources to expand its software platform and pursue rapid geographic expansion in order to meet escalating demand.
Accessibility is a business mandate that has arrived with tremendous force and the consequences of not offering accessible experiences are costly and brand debilitating.
This funding builds on a major year for eSSENTIAL Accessibility which saw a rapidly growing list of clients, key executive appointments, and market momentum in the areas of accessibility and inclusion.
“The concept of accessibility ” commonly associated with public and private physical spaces ” now applies to our increasingly digital world, said eSSENTIAL Accessibility co-founder and CEO Simon Dermer. “Websites, mobile apps, cloud platforms, and other digital assets need to be designed, developed and managed with accessibility in mind to meet the needs of the more than one billion people globally living with a disability. Yet organizations struggle to implement accessibility and conform with regulatory mandates.
The confusing array of misleading, half-baked, or overpriced solutions tend to make accessibility program management and the mitigation of legal risk a major challenge for organizations of any size. And eSSENTIAL Accessibility is the enterprise-level SaaS+ answer to this problem.
“The United States’ Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Europe’s standard EN 301 549, the Accessible Canada Act, and dozens of other laws around the world require organizations of all sizes to adhere to accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,” added Eve Hill, Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and Partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy. “The over 2,400 digital accessibility compliance lawsuits in the US alone last year, including the rejection of Domino’s Pizza’s request for Supreme Court review, marks an accelerating trend that continues unabated.”
There are hundreds of leading brands and organizations that rely on the company’s cloud platform and team of diverse and certified accessibility professionals to cost-effectively maintain digital accessibility compliance and enhance the customer experience so that no one with a disability is left behind.
“The legacy approach to accessibility spans everything from the hiring of transitory consultants to costly in-house teams with no third-party oversight to technologies that overpromise and under-deliver,” explained eSSENTIAL Accessibility Inc. president and co-founder Mark Steele. “Digital executives, product owners and general counsels are suffering these failures and searching for a streamlined economical approach that covers them and eliminates legal risk. Lead Edge Capital is the ideal partner to accelerate our rollout and scale the business globally.”
Lead Edge Capital partner Nimay Mehta is joining eSSENTIAL Accessibility’s Board of Directors in conjunction with the funding.
“eSSENTIAL Accessibility has a proven SaaS solution that is meeting a pressing compliance need in a burgeoning space,” stated Mehta. “eSSENTIAL’s software platform makes it easy for their customers to implement ADA requirements and WCAG standards, but the value proposition extends well beyond that. Their in-house legal expertise makes them a trusted source for corporate counsels and their consumer-facing assistive technology allows brands to provide the best experience no matter who the customer is.”