Partnerships are becoming increasingly common in the legal technology space, as are outside investments. But rarely does the former lead to the latter, which makes today’s announcement from DocuSign and Seal Software unique.
Today, agreement and e-signature company DocuSign announced it has invested $15 million in Seal Software, an artificial intelligence-based contract analytics and discovery solution. The deal, the companies said, is part of a move to facilitate deeper intelligence and AI capabilities into DocuSign’s Agreement Cloud suite of digital agreement products, launched earlier in March.
Currently, Seal is the engine behind two different DocuSign Agreement Cloud product extensions: DocuSign Total Search and DocuSign Intelligent Insights. Ron Hirson, chief product officer at DocuSign, noted that these sorts of AI-powered offerings are an area of focus for DocuSign as the contract and agreement space becomes increasingly digitized.
“AI lets organizations analyze their agreements for hidden risks and opportunities in new ways,” Hirson said in the press release announcing the investment. “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.”
Seal itself is no stranger to investment. Last summer, the company secured a $30 million investment from venture capital firm Toba Capital. Seal CEO Ulf Zetterberg told LTN at the time that the funding would be used enhance the Seal Software platform and further develop its AI engine. That funding also allowed Seal to aggressively enter the M&A space, acquiring Apogee Legal in July to bolster the company’s analytics suite.
In the release announcing this investment, Zetterberg said, “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. Working together, we will continue to unlock the full potential of all the agreements that are pervasive across every size and type of business.”
DocuSign said this investment is its largest in AI to date, but it’s not the only move the company has made towards AI integration. DocuSign previously acquired machine learning startup Appuri in December 2017 and document indexing and text search platform SpringCM in September 2018. DocuSign itself went public in April 2018.