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NAR invests in online notary start-up Notarize

Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors(NAR), has made a strategic investment in Notarize, an online notary service that promises to cut closing times

Notarize, the first on-demand remote electronic notary service, allows anyone to legally notarize a document from their iPhone or Desktop 24 hours per day.

The services is valid nationally and connects customers with licensed electronic notaries by live video call via an app and allows individuals to fill out their document, and sign before a live agent to have it notarized instantly.

Nearly 90 percent of the Realtors believe online closings would be important for them and their clients with 40 percent stating it would be very important or even a game changer.

“As one of the only 13 investments SCV has made through the venture fund, this investment signifies NAR and SCV’s unwavering support of Notarize and the progress it is making within the mortgage industry,” said Mark Birschbach, managing director of Second Century Ventures.

The investment comes after Notarize took part in the NAR’s REach Accelerator program which reviews hundreds of companies every year and works with serverl to help them develop technology that will help Realtors.

Over 40 companies have participated in the REach program over the past five years, and Second Century Ventures ahs made 13 investments  through its venture fund.

In a statement, Notarize said, “Investment from Second Century Ventures is not only significantly larger than what is provided within the REach program, it also signifies that NAR is making a clear bet that we’re the company to scale online closings across the country and we’re up to the challenge.

“NAR is supporting Notarize because it believes we have the product, service and team to be successful, but also because our success will benefit it’s 1.3 million Realtor members across the country.”

In a recent survey Notarize conducted in partnership with NAR and  its members, more than 60 per cent of Realtors who responded said they experienced a closing last year that was delayed or cancelled due to one of the parties not being able to be physically present; 30 percent of respondents said between 5-25 percent of their closings were delayed or cancelled.

“Our Realtor members are invaluable to home buyers and sellers alike, helping both sides achieve their ownership goals and providing the essential human connection with all parties,” said Bob Goldberg, CEO of NAR.

“Notarize enables real estate professionals to focus on their clients with greater attention and efficiency, providing a superior technology that automates a variety of complex processes. A faster, more secure closing reduces stress and improves the overall experience, and we believe Notarize is the company that will make this a reality for agents across the country.”

According to Natarize, no matter how good of a job the agent does on the front-end of the home buying process, the last mile (the closing) has been stuck in the dark ages.

“We’re excited to spread the word to real estate professional across the country that there is a better way. With Notarize for Mortgage, borrowers can close online, anytime, anywhere. And, it’s not just online closings,” said Notarize co-founder Adam Pase.

The company plans to further improve its service by working with NAR and its Realtor members to collect other documents outside of the closing, such as lease forms, guarantor forms, and tenant affidavits.

“With the added support of NAR and SCV, our team and technology will help transform the home closing process and establish a new industry standard,” said Pase.

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