DocuSign could be suffering from a pandemic growth hangover

Growth has slowed dramatically since 2021

During the early days of the pandemic, I had to have a document notarized. I met the notary at my local bank office. She took my document and my ID through a crack in the door. She looked it over as I waited outside. Eventually she passed the document and my license back to me; I signed and returned it to her for her stamp. All of this would have been so much easier online.

DocuSign seems like a slam dunk of a company. It helped define the category of digital signing, an idea that came into full focus during the pandemic when meeting in an office became impossible, but business still had to be done. And yet, the company’s stock has been in free fall since 2021 when it peaked at over $300 a share. Today it’s under $60.

To be fair, DocuSign is one of many SaaS companies that has seen their value plunge since the market topped out at the end of 2021, but it’s solving a real problem in a world that is still stuck in paper workflows. Why, then, is it suffering the same fate as companies that could be considered less business critical?

From the outside, the company’s struggle to retain value and grow seems a bit baffling given its role in digital transformation. Sure, the economy has slammed a lot of enterprise SaaS companies, but there’s probably more to it than a general tech slowdown could explain. It made the move to a new CEO when it brought in former Google ad exec Allan Thygesen last year. That was a sign perhaps that things were amiss.

More recently, the company announced at its earnings call earlier this month that CFO Cynthia Gaylor was stepping down after 4.5 years with the company in various roles.

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