DocuSign Acquires AI-Powered Contract Management Startup Lexion for $165 Million

DocuSign (now preferring to be stylized as Docusign with a lowercase “s”) has announced the acquisition of Lexion, an AI-powered contract workflow automation startup, for $165 million. This acquisition comes as DocuSign continues to explore a potential sale to private equity firms.

DocuSign Acquires AI-Powered Contract Management Startup Lexion for $165 Million

Lexion, a company incubated at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), was founded by Gaurav Oberoi, Emad Elwany, and James Baird. Initially designed as a “smart” repository for contracts, allowing legal teams to ask natural language questions about documents, Lexion has expanded its offerings to address various use cases and challenges in document creation for teams across legal, sales, IT, HR, and finance departments.

According to DocuSign CEO Allan Thygesen, Lexion’s technology will enable DocuSign customers to gain a more granular understanding of their contract structures and data, as well as better identify insights and potential risks. DocuSign plans to integrate Lexion’s AI models for contract creation and negotiations, while Lexion will build integrations with DocuSign’s existing products and solutions.

The acquisition comes at a pivotal time for DocuSign, a company valued at approximately $12.5 billion, which is reportedly in the process of selling itself to a private equity firm. In February, DocuSign announced plans to lay off around 6% of its workforce, or about 400 jobs, potentially in an effort to make its financials more attractive to potential buyers.

According to reports, Bain and Hellman & Friedman are among the final bidders in an auction for DocuSign, which could result in one of the biggest leveraged buyouts of 2024.

This acquisition is not DocuSign’s first foray into the contract management space. In July 2018, the company acquired SpringCM, a cloud platform for sales contract management, for $220 million, and in February 2020, it acquired Seal Software, a company specializing in AI-driven contract analytics, for $188 million.