DocuSign, a leading secure eSignature and digital transaction management provider, has the most corporate investors (10) for a private company, according to a report from CB Insights.
DocuSign’s big-name backers include Comcast Ventures, Dell Ventures, Google Ventures, Intel Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Samsung Ventures and SAP Ventures, among others. Some of the top tech VC firms have also invested in DocuSign alongside these corporate venture arms.
With a market valuation exceeding $3 billion (according to The Wall Street Journal), DocuSign has emerged as a new cloud and cybersecurity darling of the tech industry.
This past spring, DocuSign completed its latest round of funding – $233 million – some of which is being used to finance international expansion of the San Francisco, Calif.-based company. DocuSign already boasts 50 million users in 188 countries, which includes 10 out of the top 15 U.S. financial services companies and 13 out of the top 15 U.S. insurance carriers.
However, the real story here isn’t about DocuSign. It’s about the corporate investors that cybersecurity startups should pay more attention to. DocuSign might be the poster child.
CB Insights states that over the last five years, corporate venture arms invested nearly $1.3 billion into cybersecurity companies, spanning 135 deals. In Q2 2015, the corporate investors participated in 17 deals.
So, who are the leading corporate cybersecurity investors? According to the CB Insights report, they are:
- Citi Ventures
- Comcast Ventures
- Google Ventures
- Intel Capital
- Juniper Networks
- NTT DoCoMo Ventures
- Qualcomm Ventures
- Salesforce Ventures
- Samsung Ventures
Google Ventures and Intel Capital are the top two investors in this group, and they are also the only two in the top 10 of all cybersecurity investors when you include VC firms that invest in the space.
There’s no argument here about corporate investors vs. VC firms. They are both excellent sources. The point is that cybersecurity startups should expand their view around investment options. Sometimes customers also can be investors. In the case of DocuSign, Salesforce and SAP are both customers and investors. Landing a big corporate tech customer that invests in cyber can lead to a double whammy and be the path of least resistance for venture funding.
Steve Morgan is founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report and the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. Follow Steve on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.