By acquiring Idemia’s e-signature activity, Docaposte expands into Europe
You don’t proclaim yourself a leader overnight. After the takeover of Idemia’s electronic signature activities, Docaposte wants to measure its years, Oodrive and DocuSign, and capture part of the e-signature market in France and in Europe.
Docaposte, the digital subsidiary of the La Poste group, acquires the electronic signature and digital safe activities of French Idemia, specializing in digital identity. The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed but the transaction has been effective since 1is January 2022. The teams linked to Idemia’s e-signature activity have therefore joined the ranks of Docaposte. La Poste’s digital subsidiary is tackling a booming market estimated at 1.2 billion euros in 2025.
Idemia offers solutions for businesses but also governments, including biometrics, identification and authentication, data and video analysis. The company has developed biometric payment cards for banking institutions. In addition, faced with the growing demand from all companies to use contactless access control devices in order to guarantee a secure and also hygienic method of identity verification, Idemia offers biometric terminals using facial recognition or allowing fingerprint recognition with a simple wave of the hand. Created in 2017 following the merger of Oberthur Technologies (OT) and Safran Identity & Security (Morpho), the company is now owned by the American pension fund Advent International.
Docaposte dreams of going international
This acquisition should strengthen the presence of the digital subsidiary of the La Poste group in its priority development markets, namely banking and insurance. “The complementarity of the client portfolios of the two companies will create synergies in the marketing of electronic signature solutions and digital trust services from Docaposte (identification, authentication, electronic certificates, remote identity verification (PVID), documentary control, KYC ) ”.
It is also one more step towards European development for Docaposte. “The digital safe solution is now available in 8 countries (Spain, France, Romania, Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria, Portugal and Switzerland) and is being rolled out in the Netherlands and soon in Greece”. Since 2017, the firm has pursued an increased acquisition policy to gain a foothold in the European market, as emphasized by Olivier Vallet, CEO of Docaposte. “This acquisition represents a double strategic operation to consolidate our position as the benchmark for digital trust in France and to develop our activities internationally. It is also the opportunity for us to enrich our know-how thanks to the expertise of the teams who join us and who remain managed at Docaposte by Laurent Fournié ”.
Despite his motivation, Docaposte’s path is strewn with pitfalls. The market is already governed by other French players – such as Oodrive (which bought the Sell & Sign application developed by Calinda Software last April) – and Americans – such as DocuSign or Adobe. Oodrive has for its part more than 15,000 client companies, of which more than 80% of the CAC 404. The company is engaged in various State projects for the promotion of a sovereign cloud and in particular supports the Cyber Campus project with the ambition to make France a European leader in cybersecurity, by bringing together the expertise of industrialists, French researchers and public bodies. We can also mention YouSign as a French competitor.
For its part, DocuSign, present in the electronic signature market since 2003 and listed on the NASDAQ, has been playing in the big leagues for several years. Latest example: its merger with Salesforce, allowing integration of DocuSign tools on Slack. Other international players are looking to carve out a share of this market, such as HelloSign (a subsidiary of Dropbox) or Adobe. The takeover of Idemia shows a willingness to move up a gear for Docaposte but it is still far from the leadership position it is giving itself today.