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Notarize Experiences 400% Growth in 90 Days

Platform sets RON standard and surpasses 100,000 digital real estate closings after securing $35 million in Series C funding in March to provide secure transaction liquidity

Today, we announce a $35 million new round of funding in March, bringing total funding to date to $82 million. The Series C round was led by real-estate focused venture capital firm Camber Creek, Boston-based Polaris Partners, and other existing strategic investors, and has helped Notarize quickly scale to meet unprecedented demand over the last three months. 

 “Our business has skyrocketed more than four hundred percent since March as businesses and consumers seek transaction liquidity in this new environment,” said Pat Kinsel, founder and CEO of Notarize. “Camber Creek, Polaris, and our other strategic investors understood our vision pre-Covid; with their support, we had the resources to move quickly to scale our operations and enhance our technology.  We opened our platform for our partners’ notaries to complete their own transactions and are adding 1,000 new notaries to our team to meet the dramatic demand we are experiencing. And with the new clients we’ve recently won, combined with five additional states passing legislation, the surge in volume will continue to accelerate. 2020 is the year of digital notarization and online real estate closings.”
 

“After multiple long years, I am excited to finally pass the authorization of remote notaries in Colorado,” said Senator Robert Rodriguez, D-Colorado. “Although it took a pandemic, I am no less inspired by Notarize and all the stakeholders working together to get this done in a strong bipartisan fashion. This bill was desperately needed in our current environment with COVID.”

We've seen rapid adoption of our platform as the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses and consumers to rely on remote, digital notarizations to complete critical transactions, including commercial agreements, retirement withdrawals, healthcare proxies, home closings and refinancings. The pandemic has fast-tracked market acceptance and business operations for Notarize, accomplishing many milestones in the past 90 days: 

  • Opening its platform for its partners’ notaries to fulfill their own notarizations and real estate closings. 
  • Launching the first-ever RON notary onboarding wizard to ensure notaries comply with state regulations.
  • Launching the first-ever RON notary training curriculum and RON simulator so notaries may learn and practice before serving live clients.
  • Onboarding more than 1,600 notary applicants in 90 days.
  • Partnering with leading payment provider Stripe to provide instant payouts to notaries.
  • Accelerating the roll out of its Ellie Mae Encompass partnership and integration so mortgage lenders may offer online closings with minimal setup. 
  • Nationwide adoption among Fortune 100 companies.
  • Expanding the market for mortgage lenders as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac permanently eliminated the waiver requirements for lenders to perform RON mortgage closings.
  • Updating its real estate eligibility service’s footprint in response to leading title underwriters expanding RON approvals to 44 states. 
  • Supporting the successful passage of state RON legislation in Wisconsin, Alaska, Louisiana, Colorado, and Oregon, bringing the total number of states that have authorized their notaries to perform RON for a national audience to 27.
  • Supporting the bipartisan federal bill, The SECURE Notarization Act, which aims to make clear the national acceptance for RON in all use cases. 
  • Launching the first-ever credible witness solution for foreign nationals to complete legal US online notarizations. 

“The pandemic has forced nearly every business to digitize overnight, but Notarize identified the need to simplify the inconvenient and arduous process of notarization years ago and diligently built the technology, partner and legislative framework to make RON a reality,” said Jake Fingert, general partner of Camber Creek. “They have spent the last five years building the infrastructure and setting the industry standard that today is allowing millions of Americans and businesses to legally execute health, family and financial transactions within minutes. Notarize is providing peace of mind when we all need it most, and changing behavior for the future. There is no looking back.”   

Demand for the Notarize platform has been particularly high for real estate transactions, with over $7 billion ordered in June alone, as people look to complete closings, refinance and take advantage of historically low interest rates. To help facilitate digital solutions throughout the industry, we've opened our platform to independent notaries and title agents in thirteen states, empowering them to complete their own transactions with a convenient, secure, SaaS-based solution. In addition, we are hiring thousands of notaries in Florida, Texas, Virginia and Nevada. Hired notaries are onboarded remotely, work from the safety of their home, and receive same-day payment for their services through Stripe Connect, a platform that accepts money and pays out to third parties. 

Previous Notarize funding included investments by Polaris Partners, Realogy Holdings, Lennar Corporation, Ludlow Ventures, Fifth Wall, and the National Association of Realtors.

You have notarization questions, we have notarization answers. While we at Notarize pride ourselves on providing helpful resources (like this blog!) to demystify notarization, we’re not lawyers and don’t give legal advice. Pro tip: always check with your own attorneys, advisors, or document recipients if you have further questions about notarization or digitally notarized docs.

RON vs. RIN: What's the Difference?

This article originally appeared in the August 2020 edition of Mortgage Banker Magazine, which can be found here.

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