Why Canapi is Leading Notarize’s $130M Series D Financing

March 24, 2021

Many of life’s most important transactions must be notarized. Mortgages, asset transfers, power of attorney documents, 401(k) withdrawals… the list goes on and on. It’s a process that Americans complete over 1.25B times annually, and it is a necessary step in ensuring the documents that govern our personal and professional lives are valid and trusted.

However, as the workflows related to these transactions have moved online at an astonishing pace, the notarization largely remains a “last-mile”, paper-based, in-person experience – and an often unpleasant one at that.

The traditional process of finding a notary is stressful, scheduling time for the meeting is disruptive, and driving to meet someone outside your home is inconvenient. On the business side, it results in unnecessarily long wait times to get documents returned and general process delays. Regardless, we have to (and should) do it to ensure deals are completed with trust and identity verification. It begs the question, as the rest of the world has moved digital – why hasn’t notarization?

Without boring you with a history lesson, the short answer is that part of the reason was regulatory-related… but even more so it is attributable to a “this is just how it works” mentality by both consumers and businesses for decades. However, if the events of the last year have taught us anything, it’s that things change quickly, and needs can change overnight – especially in a global-pandemic where the best remedy is simply to stay at home.

One of our core themes at Canapi is digitizing mission-critical workflows… there is nothing more mission-critical than trust, and today we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we are leading Notarize’s $130M Series D financing round!

Amazing Product Experience

Some of the world’s best ideas seem obvious in hindsight. In our view, Notarize falls into that bucket. In addition to filling an obvious void in a massive market that touches nearly every industry, we are extremely excited by the company’s product-focused approach and customer-first mindset.

Over the past five years, CEO Pat Kinsel and team created the category and built the first, and leading, platform for online notarizations that allows people to have documents notarized from their phone or desktop 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, no matter where they are. Multiple Canapi team members have used it and we couldn’t speak more highly of the experience. It’s elegant, seamless and significantly more convenient than the analog alternative.

Our enthusiasm was only validated by the business-customer references during diligence. Everyone we spoke to described Notarize as the best solution on the market and used sound bites like “saves time and removes frustration,” “no-brainer internally” and “overall easier.”

While these sound bites were true before, the onset of COVID-19 turbo-charged Notarize’s business across every measurable metric and they grew 600% in 12 months. It’s not hard to understand why: consumer expectations and behaviors are permanently altered, businesses are mobilizing to digitize their operations and everywhere you look technology is changing how we work. Today, more than ever, people need a way to transact in a way that is low-risk and remote. The transition to remote online notarization was always inevitable, the pandemic significantly accelerated the shift.

Standardizing on Notarize

Banks in the Canapi Alliance complete 10s of millions of notarizations per year across a variety of transaction types that range from powers of attorney to beneficiary designation forms, to distribution forms, to lien waivers, to affidavits for identity theft to purchase, REFI and HELOC transactions. By leveraging Notarize, our LPs can streamline and speed up processes, enhance security and reduce fraud, and drive significant internal cost savings – all while providing a better, more delightful customer experience.

Canapi’s reach in financial services, combined with Notarize’s blue-chip customer base and impressive partnership roster (Adobe, Dropbox, Zillow, Redfin, TIAA, Transamerica, Stripe, etc.) give us confidence that the world will soon standardize on Notarize as the software layer that imbues trust and verification in every transaction – delivered at the speed of the internet.

We couldn’t be prouder to partner with Pat Kinsel and the rest of the Notarize team on their next stage of growth alongside other top-tier investors Capital G, Citi Ventures, and Wells Fargo, among others. Congrats again to the Notarize team!

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