DocuSign had a big day yesterday by landing $47.5 million in funding, along with adding Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins to the board.
Last year, the company added another big name when Keith Krach, the founder of Ariba, signed on as CEO.
Since 2004, the e-signature company has been helping both businesses and consumers eliminate the hassle of signing paperwork—while keeping things legal and secure.
That quest to eliminate paperwork has informed Krach’s entire career—stretching back to the days when he became the youngest vice president in the history of General Motors at the age of 26. He went on to start Ariba, an online procurement-software company, in 1996. In so doing, he helped create the whole category of business-to-business e-commerce.
We chatted with Krach to find out a little bit more about DocuSign and what it has in store.
Here is what we found out:
- The company has 20 million users and adds about 60,000 unique users a day.
- There have been over 150 million documents signed in over 188 countries.
- Approximately 90% of Fortune 500 companies have signed up for DocuSign.
- Over 150,000 documents a day are signed by DocuSign. This equates to approximately 1 million pages.
Here’s a lightly edited transcript of our conversation with Krach:
Can you describe DocuSign?DocuSign started to really automate this whole signature process, which is probably one of the last un-automated operations in corporations and even for individuals. So the beauty about DocuSign is that you don’t have to fax, print out, scan, or overnight deliver, so it saves a tremendous amount of time, and it is much more secure than the traditional wet signature.
Pretty exciting day yesterday. In terms of your latest round of funding, who was involved?
Kleiner Perkins, Accel Partners, [a] large global institutional investor [which] we are not at liberty to disclose, Comcast Ventures, SAP Ventures. They also joined some of our other investors like the National Association of Realtors and Salesforce.com.
What do you expect to do with $47.5 million?
Well, to continue to accelerate our business and specifically invest in three major areas. One is in R&D to continue to expand our e-signature transaction-management platform. The second is to further penetrate key vertical industries. The third one is to accelerate our international expansion.
How did Mary Meeker step into the picture?
Well, Mary runs [KP’s Digital Growth Fund] and she is the probably the preeminent expert on the Internet. I think she really got excited that this is a huge disruption in the old economy, and I think she this as absolutely a huge market and DocuSign is the global leader, the standard for electronic signature. So, I think she is really excited about this.
What does Meeker bring to the table in joining DocuSign’s board?
She will bring just a broad breadth of experience in terms of the Internet, in terms of great strategies with regard to viral growth. I mean this is the network effect on steroids, so I think she will bring a lot of great experience and expertise as we scale out the DocuSign global network.
Because you are the global leader, how do you stay above the competition?
I think, it really comes down to five key areas. The first one is having the broadest the platform in e-signature transaction management. So the signature is just tip of the iceberg. We do total authentication on the front end, audit trail on the back-end, we incorporated work flow in the product, so it is the breadth of the platform.
The second and probably what we are best known for is rock-solid security. The documents are totally encrypted. You know these are people’s most valuable documents and signature is very important to people. We have got ISO 27000.1 certification, only a handful of companies have that. It is passed the security audit for some of the toughest companies where they have the chief security officer come in. So that is a big area.
The third one is a very strong partner ecosystem. [We] have a great partnership with Salesforce, they have standardized on us. We jointly sell with them. Microsoft is a great partner and customer, Microsoft uses us in 70 of their business departments. Google is a great partner, we were one of their go-to market partners with Google Drive. Apple is a great partner. So that partner ecosystem is key.
The fourth area is world-class customer support. It is more than just the 7 x 24 support, it is also we got libraries of thousands of different use cases across the board in terms of utilising the product. The HR department, sales department, finance department, procurement department, legal department, real estate department. So, it is literally applicable to every department in companies.
The fifth one is really the trusted global standard. DocuSign has basically come a verb. It is like, ‘Send me the stuff I need to sign, and I’ll DocuSign it.’
Are you going to be adding more products or going in depth with the current products you currently have available?
We are absolutely expanding the product line. A great example, we just announced a payment gateway, so instead of taking two steps to sign something and than pay for it, you can do it all in one. We announced a big partnership with PayPal as well as gateway to the major credit card companies as well. We are expanding the platform as we go along.