Technology

DocuSign may be next real estate IPO

Signs suggest paperless provider laying groundwork for initial public offering

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If Redfin doesn’t beat it to the punch, DocuSign could be the next big real estate tech company to go public.

A year ago, the e-signature and transaction management software provider made clear that it would rather go public than be acquired. And last fall, its chief financial officer, Mike Dinsdale, told the Puget Sound Business Journal the company planned an initial public offering in 2015.

Now, a job posting indicates that an IPO may happen sooner rather than later.

The posting is for a “director of public, media and analyst relations” who will, among other duties, be expected to drive “relationships and quarterly briefings with analysts to ensure DocuSign remains top of mind for digital transaction management and e-signature.”

Analyst relations positions are essential for public companies to get their stocks noticed and followed by analysts, wrote PSBJ’s Rachel Lerman, who first reported the story.

DocuSign declined to comment for Lerman’s story and did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Inman.

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Two days ago, DocuSign announced the hiring of a chief marketing officer, Brad Brooks, who has more than 25 years of experience leading global marketing and business strategy for public companies, including Microsoft, Juniper Networks and AT&T Lucent Technologies.

Last year, DocuSign raised $115 million in a funding round the company said would help it grow its mobile reach and expand into Spanish-speaking countries, Singapore and across Asia. The round included commitments from Samsung Ventures, BBVA Ventures and the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

The National Association of Realtors invested in DocuSign in 2009, when NAR subsidiary Second Century Ventures purchased a 5.43 percent stake in the company for $2 million. As DocuSign raises additional money, the ownership stakes of existing investors are diluted. Before the latest round of funding, NAR’s stake in DocuSign was 4.5 percent, according to a report provided to NAR’s board of directors in May.

In November, DocuSign announced a “deep integration” with Realtor-owned zipLogix Inc. allowing users of its digital transaction management platform to fill out real estate forms digitally using the form-filling technology zipForm.