Feeling the DocuLove Riding the Wave of Digital Transaction Management

It’s nearing midnight and Keith Krach, CEO of DocuSign, is enjoying his own party at Ruby Skye on Mason Street in San Francisco. This is not a CEO, like so many others, who throws a shindig as if it were slop into the trough for hungry hangers on — the unwashed journalists, analysts, partners, developers, suppliers, and even buyers attending his conference — and then goes off to a private affair with his biggest customers.

No.

Krach has been here all night, boogieing down to wall-to-wall covers by The James Gang, which could be his favorite band. They have been playing this party at this venue for at least the past three years that I’ve been attending DocuSign Momentum.

Krach’s button-down Oxford still looks pretty crisp, which is amazing because I’m dripping in sweat, but he has taken his jacket off. At one point, I find myself dancing with a charming woman with a slight European accent who introduces herself as his wife, Metta. Krach is alternately dancing with her, his employees — male or female, it doesn’t matter — and his top lieutenants, who show moves that look more like they belong at a gathering of Native American tribal chieftains than at a rock-and-roll fest. I spend two minutes with him, shouting jokes into each other’s ear, but frankly, neither of us can hear anything.

As I head back to the hotel after midnight, I find myself a hundred feet behind Krach and his lady, who are talking, laughing, and occasionally holding hands like two teenagers as they amble through the mild evening air back to their apartment, which is not far away. All day Krach has been talking about “feeling the DocuLove” in his keynote at Momentum 2014, in hallways, break rooms, and wherever he can find a listener.

He’s on a relentless campaign to convince the world that DocuSign, which is officially in the “digital transaction management” (DTM) business as of this year’s conference, is a verb. As in, “Let me get those terms and conditions into the agreement, and then we’ll DocuSign it.” Speakers in various sessions all talk about DocuSigning this and that. DocuLove, an extension of that idea, is in evidence everywhere.

And well it should be. A lot has changed since last year, and all of it is good. The company has just taken in $85 million in a round of private financing, led by Morgan Stanley, that values the company at $1.6 billion, and sales and operations are firing on all cylinders. The excitement of success is in the air.

I’ve written about DocuSign before, and I’ve been concerned that I’m being too enthusiastic about the company, which is a client of mine. If anything, though, it has exceeded my expectations in terms of growth in software and market development, partnerships, and business volume. As a private company, DocuSign doesn’t reveal revenue figures, and I have no inside information, but a revenue model that I have been refining for about a year indicates that an annual figure around $100 million wouldn’t be wildly off the mark.