NAR Investment Brings Capital, Customers to DocuSign
The venture capital arm of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) invested in electronic signature services provider DocuSign. The investment is more than just an infusion of cash for the Seattle-based DocuSign. Founder Tom Gonser told HousingWire NAR will use its relationship with the company to proliferate the use of electronic signature documents in real estate transactions, replacing the fax machine. “We’re teaming up with NAR to set the standard and put some training and education in place, and work closely with the trade association to make sure we communicate best practices and how to use an electronic signing service instead of a fax,” Gonser said. DocuSign is the latest investment opportunity for NAR’s Second Century Ventures (SCV), which also holds stakes in real estate technology providers ePropertyData, Move Inc., zipLogix and SentriLock in its portfolio. As part of the investment, NAR CEO and SCV president Dale Stinton now sits on DocuSign’s board of directors. “Our capital investment and guidance will serve as a catalyst for this company to become the standard and meet the market demand for legally binding electronic signatures that help REALTORS close more deals at a faster rate, and offer the convenience and flexibility buyers require,” Stinton said in a release. Electronic signatures have been a legal method for completing document transactions in the US since 2000. DocuSign has been in business since 2004, and since then, Gonser said customers and real estate professionals are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the process. NAR’s investment in the company further bolsters the company’ s legitimacy, he said. DocuSign also added new features to its software. An application for mobile smart phones was recently released, allowing for electronic signatures away from a computer. A second new feature lets users who aren’t using DocuSign submit documents via fax, which are then digitized and incorporated into the document file. This is also an application that can be used to digitally upload tax forms, pay stubs and other paper documents needed to complete a transaction. Write to Austin Kilgore.