Breaking News: DocuSign has today announced a $15 million investment in legal AI company Seal Software, which brings combined investment into the corporate-focused AI company so far to around $58 million.
The move expands the partnership formed between DocuSign and Seal Software last year, which saw Seal’s AI agreement discovery, extraction, and analytics solutions offered as a pre-integrated extension of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud.
The investment follows a $30m investment in 2018 led by Toba Capital, meaning that Seal now has one of the highest levels of funding among legal AI companies. Prior to that it had received $13m in funding. This means that in total, the company, which is based in the US but operates globally and has a growing office in London, will have gained around $58m in investment so far since it launched in 2010.
In a statement, the companies said: ‘This builds on the steps DocuSign has already taken to add intelligence to the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, including the acquisition of machine learning startup Appuri, another move centered on AI technology, in December 2017, and the acquisition of SpringCM, with document indexing and text search, in September 2018.’
‘It also reflects the increasing importance that AI technologies play in helping to automate and connect a company’s entire system of agreement, allowing business to be done faster with less risk, lower costs, and better experiences for customers, partners, and employees,’ they added.
Seal Software currently powers two DocuSign Agreement Cloud product extensions: DocuSign Total Search and DocuSign Intelligent Insights.
Ron Hirson, chief product officer at DocuSign, commented: ‘AI lets organisations analyse their agreements for hidden risks and opportunities in new ways. 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.’
Ulf Zetterberg, co-founder and CEO of Seal Software, added: ‘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.’
Is this a big deal? Yes. For the market, for Seal and for DocuSign.
When a company the size of DocuSign backs a legal AI company in this way it means a lot. It means they see real growth in AI tech, and it also means they will be making sure their clients make use of Seal. DocuSign is truly global and has revenues of $0.7 billion, so although $15m is small for them, it also ties Seal closer to what is a huge tech company with many of the world’s largest corporates as its clients.
This matters as there is now a major push from a raft of legal AI companies to gain market share among corporates, rather than just law firms. In this regard Seal will have some added firepower to help it to maintain its already leading position as a provider of legal AI tools to corporates.
It’s also evidence of just how fast the market for legal AI tools is evolving. What seemed like frontier technology a couple of years ago, is now clearly making its way into the wider tech market and gaining support and funding from global players along the way.