DocuSign is investing heavily in AI. Literally. The San Francisco provider of electronic signature and digital transaction management services today announced that it’s putting $15 million toward Seal Software, a seal contract discovery and analytics startup that uses machine learning to find and parse contracts, building on an existing partnership between the two companies.
It follows DocuSign’s acquisition of intellectual property rights from machine learning startup Appuri in December 2017, and its purchase of text search and document indexing startup SpringCM last September. And it comes after Bay Area-based Seal — which was founded in 2010 by Kevin Gidney and Ulf Zetterberg, and which recently reported growth of more than 85 percent year-on-year — raised $30 million from Toba Capital, bringing its total raised to $43 million.
“We are thrilled by DocuSign’s confidence in Seal Software as a partner and now as a strategic investor, as we build the next generation of agreement discovery and analysis tools using artificial intelligence,” cofounder and CEO Ulf Zetterberg said. “Working together, we will continue to unlock the full potential of all the agreements that are pervasive across every size and type of business.”
As per the agreement inked last year, Seal’s technologies are distributed through DocuSign’s platform extensions program. They underlie DocuSign’s Total Search service, which allows customers to centralize and organize digital agreements using metadata and search inside them using natural language terms, and DocuSign’s Intelligent Insights, which taps AI algorithms to automatically extract “mission-critical” legal concepts like indemnification and warranty.
Using these in tandem, DocuSign says, a customer might identify agreements in contracts that overlap and clauses that aren’t managed, which could allow for renegotiation and cost savings. “AI lets organizations analyze their agreements for hidden risks and opportunities in new ways,” said DocuSign chief product officer Ron Hirson. “As we have continued to invest in adding intelligence to our suite of products, this investment in Seal’s discovery and analytics is just another step in making our Agreement Cloud offering smarter.”
Today caps off a newsy month for DocuSign. Last week, it announced Agreement Cloud, a solutions suite comprising three new products — DocuSign Gen for Salesforce, DocuSign Click, and DocuSign ID Verification — that enable users to automatically generate contracts from within Salesforce, quickly capture consent and standard agreement terms, and verify government-issued IDs and European electronic IDs used in sensitive transactions.
DocuSign has raised more than $500 million since 2003, and as of February, it had 450,000 customers and “hundreds of millions” of users in over 180 countries.