Docugami: $10 Million Funding And Bob Muglia Joins As Board Member

By Amit Chowdhry ● February 13, 2020
  • Docugami, a Seattle-based document engineering company that transforms how businesses create and manage documents for greater productivity, announced it raised $10 million in seed funding

Docugami, a Seattle-based document engineering company that transforms how businesses create and manage documents for greater productivity, compliance, and insight using artificial intelligence ― announced that it has raised $10 million in seed funding led by SignalFire with participation by NextWorld Capital.

“SignalFire’s deep technical roots and hands-on approach are a great fit for Docugami,” said Jean Paoli, chief executive officer at Docugami. “We are on a mission to solve the document and dark data issues that have plagued businesses of all sizes for decades, and this massive infusion of seed funding will enable us to expand our data science team to add product capabilities, and build our sales and marketing muscle to rapidly grow our customer base.”

And Docugami also announced that Bob Muglia, former CEO of Snowflake and former head of both Microsoft’s Office and Azure businesses, is joining the company as a major investor and board member.

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“Over the coming decade, artificial intelligence will transform every industry. Business documents are the lifeblood of every company, yet today they are opaque to business systems and require constant interpretation and translation by frontline staff, legal professionals, and others,” stated Muglia. “Docugami is poised to redefine the process of business document creation and management, unlocking the information in those documents, and enabling executives and frontline employees to focus on what matters most to the business.”

The additional investors in the seed round of funding include Greg Badros, former head of Google Apps; Shishir Mehrotra, CEO of Coda; Kevin Reigelsberger, former president of Avalara; Alan Smith, partner at Fenwick & West; Barry Abbott, partner at Lane Powell & Associates; and Fenwick & West Investments.

This seed round of funding also includes a number of notable angel investors in Silicon Valley, Paris, and the Seattle area, including Thomas Reardon, co-founder of CTRL-Labs; Ellen Levy, former head of corporate and business development at LinkedIn; Sarah Imbach, former senior executive at PayPal, LinkedIn, and 23andMe; Hank Vigil, former senior vice president for strategy and partnerships at Microsoft; Marc Jalabert, former executive at Microsoft Western Europe; and angel investor Sunil Chhaya.

“We are excited to be making such an unusually large seed investment because we are so impressed with the world-class team of engineers, data scientists and business leaders Docugami has assembled,” explained Ilya Kirnos, founding partner and chief technology officer at SignalFire. “The Docugami team helped create and deliver the document technology used by more than a billion people around the world today, and they have the vision and experience to transform how people use and think about documents for the next 20-30 years.”

Launched in March 2018 by Paoli and four other senior engineering leaders from Microsoft, Docugami utilizes a wide range of artificial intelligence techniques, including natural language processing, image recognition, declarative markup, and other approaches in order to enable businesses of all sizes to radically improve how they create and manage documents for greater insight, efficiency, and business impact.

Many other companies in the space require expensive and time-consuming machine learning on massive sets of big data, but Docugami focuses on the “small data” that is unique to each company. And Docugami’s breakthrough solutions do not require customers to implement expensive new systems or change their business processes. What Docugami does is work seamlessly with customers’ existing systems like Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365.

“I have been exploring what we see as the potential for a seismic shift in how documents and contracts – the heart of business productivity – are created, understood and analyzed, powered by recent advances in artificial intelligence,” commented Craig Hanson, General Partner at NextWorld Capital. “In our thesis, the vision for the ‘future of work’ will require a rethinking of the core element of daily business workflows, the document, and this is now possible with AI. The Docugami team helped create the intelligent document revolution at Microsoft, and is now assembled to launch this next revolution.”

Paoli is credited as one of the inventors of XML and while working at Microsoft. And Paoli is also known for starting several billion-dollar businesses for Microsoft, including the XML effort, Microsoft InfoPath, the modern Microsoft Office file formats, and Microsoft’s open-source subsidiary that enabled today’s massive open source usage in Azure. Plus he created two startups with INRIA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation in France.

Along with Paoli, the co-founders of the company includes Andrew Begun, a founding member of InfoPath and an engineering manager in Windows; Taqi Jaffri, former principal product manager for Microsoft Business AI & Research; Mike Palmer, founding member of InfoPath and an engineering manager in Office; and Martin Sawicki, former engineering manager for Microsoft Office and Azure. And the Docugami science team is led by Luis Martí, an international expert in machine learning and evolutionary computing, and Steve DeRose, a renowned expert in natural language processing, computational linguistics, and standards related to document processing. Plus the company’s business team is led by Alan Yates ― who created the Microsoft worldwide partner program, and led sales and marketing for four successful startup companies prior to joining Docugami.

Including this round of funding, Docugami has raised a total of $11.7 million ― which includes $1.7 million in pre-seed funding provided by the founders.