DocusiThe exit took 15 years. That’s well beyond the expectation of any angel investor and probably not what the founders had in mind. A successful exit was ultimately achieved, but the timeline was probably longer than anyone expected.
They burned through $650mm. That’s an extraordinary amount of capital for a software business. For comparison, we find that the median amount of equity and debt publicly traded SaaS companies have gone through before going public is well under $200mm.
Docusign was still not profitable. Operating loss in 2016 and 2017 was $119mm and $116mm respectively. Free cash flow was -$96mm and -$48mm in those years respectively.
Docusign went through a few CEO’s. The CEO at the time of going public, Daniel Springer, became CEO in 2017. From 2011 to January 2017 the CEO was Keith Krach. It’s unclear who the CEO was prior to 2011. The founder, Thomas Gonser, serves on the board. While it’s not uncommon for the founder to be replaced when a company transitions from startup stage to hundreds of millions of revenue, there are plenty of examples of tech companies where the founder is still the CEO (Salesforce, Snapchat, Facebook, Dropbox, Box, etc) and obviously you don’t change CEO’s unless there is a problem.
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