Notarize raises $20 million, with help from housing giants Lennar and Realogy

Venture arm of National Association of Realtors also took part in funding round

Over the last few months, Notarize, a digital platform that allows for legal, online document notarization, has positioned itself to be at the forefront of what is becoming a nationwide movement towards online notarizations.

The company has led successful efforts to change state laws in Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, Texas, and Nevada to allow those states notaries to be able to perform online notarizations across the country.

And now, the company has secured funding from some of the largest and most influential companies in housing, as well as some of the nation’s most well-known venture capital firms.

Notarize announced Thursday that it raised $20 million in its Series B round of funding. The capital raise nearly doubles the amount of money the company has raised so far.

In total, Notarize has now raised $31 million.

But what’s more interesting than Notarize raising $20 million is where the money is coming from.

Leading the funding round is Polaris Partners. Also participating were Lennar, the nation’s largest homebuilder, Second Century Ventures, the venture capital arm of the National Association of Realtors, and a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings.

Realogy is the largest owner and operator of real estate brokerages in the U.S. and the parent company of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA and Sotheby's International Realty real estate brands.

Also participating in Notarize’s capital raise were Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, as well as Fifth Wall Ventures, a venture fund backed by some of the biggest names in real estate, including: CBRE, the commercial real estate giant; Lennar; Equity Residential, one of the largest multifamily property owners in the U.S.; and Hines, one of the nation’s largest developers of office buildings.

Polaris, Fifth Wall, and Second Century all took part in Notarize’s earlier capital raises.

As part of this funding, both Realogy and Lennar will begin using Notarize’s services, which include a fully digital mortgage closing solution that was launched last year.

“Notarize technology will allow Title Resource Group to better serve the growing number of customers who prefer online digital solutions,” said Don Casey, president and CEO of TRG, Realogy’s title and closing division. “Moving toward a full digital closing has been one of our strategic objectives for some time, and Notarize has helped tackle the legal and technical barriers to help make the digital real estate transaction a reality.”

Bruce Gross, CEO of Lennar Financial Services, which includes the operations of Eagle Home Mortgage and North American Title, touted Notarize’s digital closing solution.

“Online notarization is an essential component of the digital home buying experience and we’re pleased to launch an initial program with Notarize this year,” Gross said.

“Notarize’s online closing process aligns with Lennar’s vision of creating a seamless digital transaction,” Gross added. “We are excited to provide a new resource that will improve the home buying experience and enable our customers to move into their dream homes faster.”

According to Notarize, it plans to use the money to grow its partnerships with lenders and other industry participants.

“We are extremely encouraged by our partners and customers that have embraced digital notarization to transform their own operations, but know we have barely scratched the surface,” Adam Pase, co-founder and COO of Notarize, said.

“Our partners today include the country’s largest wholesale lender, United Wholesale Mortgage, more than one hundred other lenders and title companies, and 3,000 other businesses,” Pase added. “This new infusion of funding will allow us to reach new audiences and create even greater efficiencies for our partners’ most important transactions, anytime, anywhere.”

Dave Barrett, managing partner at Polaris, said the company is pleased to invest further in Notarize.

“Notarize has been on a trajectory from day one, influencing legislation and building the technology, relationships and infrastructure to change business processes, while also creating a superior customer experience for an antiquated process,” Barrett said.

“Notarize saw the potential to address the pain points of traditional notary with a secure, streamlined solution that is already saving government, businesses and consumers countless hours and dollars,” Barrett concluded. “Very few companies truly transform industries; the impact they stand to have on the real estate industry is particularly exciting.”

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