Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. This huge figure consists of $6.6 trillion in increased productivity, as well as $9.1 trillion of increased demand for products and services because of personalization and improved quality. Those interested in investing in the AI trend should consider companies that are utilizing the technology to improve their products and services, such as DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU), Alteryx (NYSE: AYX), and Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY).
Let's look at these three companies, how they are using AI to grow, and why they are good investments today.
1. DocuSign: Turbo-boosting agreements
DocuSign has seen a 37% compound annual growth rate over the last three years, riding the popularity of its flagship e-signature product. But it has even bigger plans and has been acquiring technology to expand its addressable market. In July 2018, it acquired SpringCM, a cloud-based contract lifecycle management software company, for $220 million in cash. This purchase provided the foundation for DocuSign to digitize all phases of an agreement's life cycle. This functionality has been integrated into its Agreement Cloud products, providing a solid foundation for its move into the AI space.
In February 2020, it purchased Seal Software, a contract analytics and artificial intelligence provider, for $180 million in cash. This provides customers with digital capabilities that they haven't been able to perform until now, like analyzing risk across contracts in the event of a global pandemic, or digitizing much of the legal review process. This AI toolset allows companies to make better strategic decisions to reduce risk and/or save money.
The revenue contribution for its AI tools is expected to be less than 1% this year, but it will provide more incentive for customers to upgrade to the Agreement Cloud. This suite of products has doubled the size of DocuSign's addressable market and will enable it to continue its solid growth for years to come.
2. Alteryx: Streamlining data analytics
Alteryx provides easy-to-use, yet powerful tools that save data analysts up to 26 hours per week compared to working with spreadsheets. The company hopes to do even better. In February 2019, it acquired Feature Labs, a data science software company launched out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for $38 million. Feature Labs' machine-learning capabilities will automate parts of the data analysis process, making the process even quicker.
This toolset is part of Alteryx's overall Analytic Process Automation platform that was announced in May. This end-to-end suite of over 270 automation building blocks will make data analysis more efficient and effective. Analysts already love its products. But by adding even more tools, the company's building its competitive advantage.
Even with its revenue more than quadrupling in the past three years to a $450 million annual run rate, the company has tapped less than 1% of its $49 billion addressable market. This analytics leader will continue its strong growth over the next five years as companies use its tools to create value and reduce costs.
3. Etsy: Personalizing the search for that special item
Etsy is a marketplace where 2.8 million sellers have 66 million handcrafted and vintage items for sale. Buyers love the platform, with 88% saying that it has unique items that can't be found anywhere else. Yet this presents a significant challenge as well. With so many nonstandard items on its website, finding an item you love can be tedious. Etsy knows this and has set a goal to deliver "world-class search and discovery technology" powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence.
At its investor day presentation in March 2019, Etsy's Chief Product Officer Kruti Goyal shared some data about its search results at the time: over 60% of searches returned 800 or more items, a third returned over 10,000, and a search for "coasters" yielded 204,000 results. These numbers demonstrate the real-world complexity of this issue. Goyal went on to explain that the company planned to use "machine-learning models" to personalize the search results to match shoppers' tastes and present items that would most resonate with them.
The company hasn't provided an update on its efforts, but in the year since, sales on its website have grown an impressive 33%. AI-powered search will continue to be a core competency for Etsy as it looks to grow beyond its 5% market share of the $100 billion "special retail" space.
The bottom line for AI investors
This trio of companies is utilizing artificial intelligence as a key differentiator and a central part of its business to drive growth in the years ahead. The power of AI should improve their odds of being winning investments over the long term. Investors would do well to add one or all of these quality businesses to their portfolio this month.
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