Venture

E-doc Verifier Notarize Launches Competitor to DocuSign

Boston-based Notarize, which helps verify legal documents completely online, is launching a free, limitless e-signature product for customers and noncustomers.

The private company, led by co-founders who have lobbied for legislation to make online notarizations legal in the first place, is now swinging at its public competition, DocuSign.

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According to a few metrics, Notarize is growing. The company said its revenue has doubled year over year. Quarter by quarter, its revenue is growing 70 percent.

Additionally, real estate transactions made on its site have just passed the $1 billion mark.

For context: DocuSign has a free trial for its e-signature product and notary services, however Ryan MacInnis, Notarize’s head of marketing, told me there are gaps in that product that Notarize addresses.

DocuSign’s free eSign product has limits on how many documents a user can sign.

“From a real estate perspective, DocuSign can’t actually do fully online real estate closings because of the in-person notary, having signers come to them to electronically sign and notarize documents in person,” he wrote in an email. “We do both 100% online.”

John Pauler, director of growth at Notarize said his e-sign product, which is standard and similar to other products available, will be free for customers and non-customers.

As for why a private company would try to differentiate itself with a product its public competitor already has mastered? Pauler said Notarize customers asked for it and that the added offering will help loyal customers stay on the company’s site, and streamline their business processes all under one roof.

It probably can’t hurt for Notarize to broaden its brand, both with paying and non-paying customers. MacInnis mentioned to me that the growing company has been lean on its marketing efforts (it has spent around $20,000 a month on marketing.) Maybe a new, free product will boost that brand recognition.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.