US technology firm DocuSign selects Australia to launch into Asia-Pacific

January 2015

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Just a year after opening its first office in Australia, United States-based technology company, DocuSign Inc. (DocuSign®) has experienced rapid growth. Strong demand for its Digital Transaction Management (DTM) services and industry-leading eSignature solution has enabled the Australian office to become its base for expansion across Asia-Pacific.

Headquartered in San Francisco, DocuSign transforms the way businesses of all sizes manage traditional paper-based processes. DocuSign helps organisations go fully digital to accelerate transactions.

Today, the company is seen as the global standard for ‘Digital Transaction Management’ (DTM) with more than 48 million users in 188 countries. On average more than 60,000 unique users join the DocuSign Global Trust Network every day. Additionally, 775,000 documents containing more than 3.5 million pages are ‘DocuSigned’ every day.

The DocuSign DTM platform supports legally compliant electronic and digital signature processes which are tailored to meet requirements globally in 43 languages.

Eitan Saban, DocuSign Asia-Pacific Vice-President and General Manager, based in Sydney, said the company’s DTM platform is widely used by businesses for a number of reasons.

‘DocuSign helps companies of every size, industry and geography achieve their digital transformations; providing faster speed to results, increased security and compliance, and better transaction experiences for customers, partners and employees alike,’ said Saban.

Australia an ideal base for an Asia-Pacific HQ

Having established an expanded network across North America, Europe and Latin America, Saban said Australia was the perfect location for DocuSign to expand its presence across the Asia Pacific. ‘With a growing customer base in Australia and across Asia-Pacific, we opened the Sydney office officially in November 2013 to serve our clients. Sydney is now also DocuSign’s Asia-Pacific head office, providing sales, support and marketing activities across the region,’ said Saban.

Saban also noted that Australia’s stable economic conditions, optimistic business outlook, low barriers to setting up a business and its strong and educated workforce were all key factors that influenced their decision.

‘Australia has a rich partner ecosystem of cloud-based technologies and Australian businesses are early adopters of technology, especially within the Asia-Pacific region,’ added Saban.

‘Other benefits of choosing Australia as our Asia-Pacific headquarters is Australia’s time zone advantages within the Asia Pacific and its high standards of infrastructure and communications.’

DocuSign is focused on expanding its reach across the Asia-Pacific region from Australia, having initially focused on the Australian and New Zealand markets during its first six months. It is now moving into Singapore and Japan.

Revolutionising business transactions

Founded by Tom Gonser in Seattle in 2003, the company has grown rapidly, aided by a growing list of investors who have helped DocuSign enhance its product offerings, capabilities and global reach.

DocuSign’s strategic investors include: Telstra, Visa, Google Ventures, Salesforce, Mitsui, Comcast Ventures, Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures) Mitsui & Co., NTT Ventures, Recruit Holdings, BBVA, EDBI (the economic development board of Singapore), Samsung Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Accel Partners among others. The company’s funding to date of more than US$230 million has helped fuel its rapid international growth.

‘The market potential for DocuSign is tremendous. DocuSign accelerates transactions across every industry, from financial services, insurance, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, communications, property management and consumer goods, to higher education, government and non-profits,’ said Saban.

‘DocuSign enables customers to simply upload a document, add the names and email addresses of the signatories, placing tags in the document where the signature, initial and dates are required, and then hit send – all within a secure online environment.’

In Australia, while DocuSign’s focus has encompassed anyone who signs paper, it has been especially embraced by mid-tier businesses in real estate, insurance, financial services and information/computer technology industries.
DocuSign currently has more than 800 customers in Australia and includes organisations like Australian telecommunications firm Telstra and others such as Australia Post, Optus, Commonwealth Bank and RP Data, joining international customers HP, Microsoft and more than 130,000 others.

More recently, Telstra became an investment partner too, having taken an equity stake in DocuSign and joining other investors like Japan’s telecommunications provider NTT and Korean electronics giant Samsung.
Saban said Telstra initially planned to use DocuSign internally, to help further digitise its business to increase the speed of information processing and document transactions. However, as of last month, Telstra is now also offering the technology as a product to its business and enterprise customers.

Path to success

After deciding to expand across the Asia Pacific, DocuSign’s entry into Australia was aided by Austrade’s team in San Francisco. Saban said Austrade were very helpful, providing the right advice and insight around the potential paths for their entry.

‘Austrade provided us with relevant information on Australia’s business and regulatory environment, and helped in planning our Go-to-Market strategy which covered economic factors, business costs, tax immigration and staff and training,’ said Saban.

‘Interested investors should open discussions with Austrade early in the strategy and set up process as their (Austrade’s) advice was very helpful.

‘Investors also need to spend the time to learn about the local regulations, understand business nuances and develop a local business support network like lawyers and accountants.

‘It’s also very important to have a strong element of local talent within the business and not just import the staff, particularly given the skilled workforce available in Australia,’ added Saban.

Going forward, DocuSign has earmarked 2015 as a year of continued rapid international expansion with a second office in Melbourne being considered, as well as a focus on expanding across the Asia-Pacific region.

‘Starting in 2015, we will make a stronger play across the wider region, initially focusing on Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Korea and then extending into Japan, China and India later in the year,’ said Saban.