October 18, 2021
Welcome to Protocol | Enterprise, your comprehensive roundup of everything you need to know about cloud and enterprise software. This Monday: DocuSign Ventures signs the deals, the data conundrum, and GitLab's IPO.
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It took over a decade for enterprises to get comfortable ditching the pen in favor of digital signatures. And while adoption was certainly rising prior to the pandemic, the demands of the last year-and-a-half accelerated that transition.
As companies increasingly rely on digital technologies for everything from e-signatures to contract negotiations, sector leader DocuSign is hoping to accelerate the next wave of innovation in the industry. Last week, the company launched its own corporate-backed venture firm aptly named DocuSign Ventures.
Venture firms backed by enterprise tech giants are, of course, nothing new. Salesforce, Microsoft, Adobe and many more all have investment arms.
But DocuSign Ventures will have a more narrow focus, according to Darwin. The company made $20 million in investments in early-stage startups prior to last week's launch, but the announcement is meant to signal a more formal commitment to ushering in the next generation of providers that build upon DocuSign's e-signature capabilities.
There's a strong business case for keeping the narrow focus, particularly as the corporate world moves to a workforce that is much more dispersed and split between remote and in-office workers.
It's clear the future of office work means employees won't have immediate access to a printer, pen and scanner. That's going to require enterprises to more quickly adopt tools like e-signatures.
Owning the entire lifecycle of a contract or document is much harder than owning the dotted line.
Artificial intelligence-powered contact centers aren't chasing marginal operational gains. They're shifting the focus from machine-only automation like IVR to harnessing AI's power of real-time data collection and analysis. Tomorrow's agents will operate with greater efficiency while providing hyper-personalized experiences for their customers.
Data dreams … or nightmares?: It's clear companies are eager to tackle the challenge of compiling and analyzing stored information, but those efforts are proving exceedingly difficult. Vendors are stepping up to the challenge — and making a windfall as a result.
Like so many businesses stuck on mainframes and even paper records, financial institutions have decades' worth of legacy technology to overcome when it comes to building global payment systems. Join Protocol's Owen Thomas next Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. PT with Priya Sanger, deputy general counsel and director at Patreon, and Ryan Zagone, head of Americas at Wise for Banks, for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities ahead, as well as the launch of the first Protocol Fintech Power Index. RSVP here.
Clarifai raised a $60 million series C funding round. The startup also announced New Enterprise Associates partner Andrew Schoen will join the board of directors.
Spot AI emerged from stealth mode with $22 million in funding.
Rose Rocket raised a $25 million series A funding round. Investors include Addition Capital, Shine Capital and Y-Combinator.
Groove raised a $45 million series B funding round.
GitLab had a market cap of $14.9 billion after its stock surged 35% on the first day of trading.
The modern data stack is becoming incredibly complicated. Salesforce and Google just foreshadowed a future where it may get a little smaller to get a little easier.
Michael Dell, Carl Icahn and .... meatloaf? The Dell founder's new book discusses the nine-month battle with the activist investor, reports CNET.
Microsoft's top executives had long-standing concerns about Bill Gates' emails to female employees, per the Wall Street Journal.
AWS has already designed "several different chips," including Graviton2, with more to come, according to CEO Adam Selipsky.
We are giving businesses the power to predict when customers are at a high risk of churn and send them to customer service before there's a problem. Instead of waiting, you're reaching out, fixing problems and putting smiles on faces. It's insight and analytics on a strategic level. It helps you better understand your business and drive efficiency across the entire organization.
Thanks for reading — see you Thursday!