I have to confess that I’ve been surprised by the valuation for DocuSign, which was valued at $3 billion in a funding round last year. I’ve had niddling doubts about the growth possibilities for a company that is basically built around the document signature use case, especially since the idea of ‘electronic signatures’ feels like a skeuomorph crying out for disruption by other approaches to identity verification, most notably fingerprint recognition on smartphones.
Perhaps those questions are being raised by others as well. According to Bloomberg, Rick Osterloh, a former Motorola Mobility exec, had been picked to lead the company forward to an IPO, but just before the announcement he balked and took a job as head of hardware at Alphabet. DocuSign is left with Keith Krach as CEO, who said last fall he wanted to step down.
Basically, verification of identity is now in the hands of the Internet giants, like Google and Apple, and DocuSign is a dinosaur just waiting for the shower of meteorites to come raining down.
So, here’s a small prediction, based on the senior executives that have been bailing out of the company — four out of nine top execs left this year: one of the majors — Google or Microsoft? — will buy DocuSign, and for less than the $3 billion valuation. The company is unwilling to share its financials, and has invested heavily to meet the requirements for eIDAS regulations in the EU, going into effect on July 1.