Docusign and SpringCM Image credit DocusignDocusign has signalled its intent to become a leader in business documentation with its acquisition of SpringCM. It will buy SpringCM for around $220 million in cash. The deal sees it extend the Agreements platform to include a full document generation and contracts lifecycle management suite.

Dan Springer, CEO of DocuSign commented: “DocuSign pioneered the e-signature category, and has built a strong SaaS business around that capability. We’ve also started to offer solutions that connect and automate the entire agreement lifecycle.

“We’ve done this with SpringCM as a partner across hundreds of joint commercial and enterprise customers. And we have many more DocuSign customers asking us to provide these capabilities natively as part of our platform. That’s why we believe today’s announcement makes such great business sense.”

Will Docusign become contract management leader?

According to ChiacgoInno Docusign will maintain the SpringCM brand and it will continue to operate from Chicago. The company was founded in 2005 and has raised a total of $127.6 million according to Crunchbase. The last funding round, its largest, raised $25 million and was led by Crestline in February 2017. It was used to fund international growth and sales.

Dan Dal Degan, SpringCM CEO (Image source : LinkedIN)
Dan Dal Degan, SpringCM CEO

The acquisition should enable SpringCM to continue its international expansion in a less expensive way. With Docusign already has 13 offices located across the globe. SpringCM should be able to leverage this existing network to gain even more international clients. Those clients already include  ADP, Aetna, Facebook, Hilton, Lenovo, Spotify, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Docusign itself.

Dan Dal Degan, CEO of SpringCM commented: “SpringCM shares DocuSign’s passion for transforming and automating the foundation of doing business—the agreement process. That’s what we’ve been focused on since inception, and it’s why we power the contract lifecycle management processes for more than 600 of the world’s leading companies….By joining forces with the market leader, we can continue to simplify and accelerate the process of doing business, and drive innovation both before and after agreements have been DocuSigned.”

Will Seal Software be next?

Part of the original System of Agreements announcement saw Seal Software partner with Docusign to deliver Docusign Compliance Packs and Docusign Total Search. With Seal also a partner of SpringCM that relationship will certainly continue. It raises the prospect of Docusign also making a bid for Seal at some point. With a major acquisition to assimilate already and a strong partnership in place another acquisition seems unlikely in the short term.

What does this mean

While SpringCM is currently well placed in the latest G2 Crowd for Contract Management.  This announcement could help it increase its market presence and become a clear leader. The Docusign System of Agreements platform is definitely one to watch and the company has moved rapidly to consolidate its position in the space.

Its competitors will need to consider their reaction to this. Will Apttus or Icertis look to acquire signature companies?  Both Apttus and Icertis partner with Adobe Sign and Docusign and it may be for this reason that Docusign are keeping SpringCM at arms length. However, a tighter integration between SpringCM, Seal Software and Docusign could deliver a significant competitive advantage. At that point other CLM vendors will need to consider how they react. They could opt for tighter integration with Adobe, another esignature partner, or perhaps through an acquisition.

Of course Docusign could also be the target of a bid. Its market cap is currently around $9 billion. This is within reach of the Industry giants such as Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and Microsoft. Docusign is becoming a giant in the documents market. Once the System of Agreements strategy is complete one wonders which market it will turn to next.


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