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eSSENTIAL Accessibility Secures $16 Million in Growth Funding

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Lead Edge Capital spearheads the round to accelerate, scale and meet escalating demand for Accessibility-as-a-Service.

Toronto, January 15, 2020 – eSSENTIAL Accessibility, the pioneering provider of Accessibility-as-a-Service, today announced the close of a $16 million USD investment round led by Lead Edge Capital.

Accessibility is a business mandate that has arrived with tremendous force. The consequences of not offering accessible experiences are costly and brand‐debilitating. This new financing will provide eSSENTIAL Accessibility with resources to expand its software platform and pursue rapid geographic expansion to meet escalating demand. It builds on an exceptional year for eSSENTIAL Accessibility which saw a rapidly growing roster of clients, key executive appointments, and market momentum in the white-hot areas of accessibility and inclusion.

The concept of accessibility — commonly associated with public and private physical spaces — now applies to our increasingly digital world, says Simon Dermer, Co-Founder and CEO. 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 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, says 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.

A confusing array of misleading, half-baked or overpriced solutions makes accessibility program management and the mitigation of legal risk a daunting challenge for organizations of any size.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility is the enterprise-level SaaS+ answer to this problem. Hundreds of leading brands and organizations rely on the company’s cloud platform and team of diverse, 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, says Mark Steele, Co-Founder and President. 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.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility has a proven SaaS solution that is meeting a pressing compliance need in a burgeoning space, says Nimay Mehta, Partner at Lead Edge Capital, who will join eSSENTIAL Accessibility’s Board of Directors. 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.

About eSSENTIAL Accessibility

eSSENTIAL Accessibility is an Accessibility-as-a-Service platform. It helps organizations deliver inclusive web, mobile, and product experiences in compliance with legal requirements to ensure that no one with a disability is left behind.

About Lead Edge

Lead Edge Capital is a growth stage investment fund with $2 billion of capital raised since inception, and portfolio companies across the internet, software and consumer spaces – including Alibaba Group, Asana, Bazaarvoice, Duo Security, Spotify, Toast, TransferWise and Uber. Lead Edge Capital offers its entrepreneurs flexible capital and extensive domain expertise via its robust Limited Partner Network, a global advisory group of leading executives, entrepreneurs and dealmakers who have built and run some of the most successful companies. Lead Edge Capital leverages its LPs to connect companies with the customers, partners, talent and advisors needed to accelerate success. Lead Edge Capital was founded in 2009 and has offices in New York City and Southern California.

If you want to learn more about our Accessibility as a Service approach, contact us here.