DocuSign takes over Lexion

While DocuSign is reportedly considering a sale to a private equity firm, it’s also on the buying side of the table.

DocuSign shared news on Monday that it’s acquiring Lexion, a startup specializing in contract workflow automation, for a cool $165 million. This move aligns with DocuSign’s growing interest in the contract management sector, underscored by its recent launch of DocuSign IAM, a service designed to streamline various aspects of corporate agreement creation and negotiation.

Lexion, incubated at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), was co-founded by Gaurav Oberoi, Emad Elwany, a former lead engineer at Microsoft Research, and James Baird, an experienced engineer. Oberoi had previously co-founded Precision Polling, a survey platform that was quickly snapped up by SurveyMonkey after its launch.

Initially, Lexion served as a “smart” contract repository, enabling legal teams to ask natural language questions about documents. Over time, it expanded its toolset to address a range of use cases and challenges in document creation, catering not just to legal departments, but also sales, IT, HR, and finance teams.

Before being acquired, Lexion had successfully raised $35.2 million in venture capital from investors such as Khosla Ventures, Madrona, and Point72 Ventures.

DocuSign’s CEO, Allan Thygesen, believes that Lexion’s technology will offer DocuSign customers a more detailed understanding of their contract structures and data, helping them uncover insights and potential risks. DocuSign plans to utilize Lexion’s AI models for contract creation and negotiations, and Lexion will work on integrating its technology with DocuSign’s products and solutions.

This acquisition comes at a critical time for DocuSign, which is currently valued at approximately $12.5 billion and is rumored to be in talks for a sale to a private equity firm. In what could be an attempt to make its financials more appealing to potential buyers, DocuSign announced plans in February to lay off around 6% of its workforce, equating to roughly 400 jobs.