This time last year, Pat Kinsel, founder and CEO of electronic notary startup Notarize, was fielding 3,000 calls a week as real estate brokers and financial advisors clamored to get set up on the service as in-person business was put on pause. Notarize started onboarding clients across industries it hadn’t much worked with previously, like wealth management, while traction in markets like real estate soared by more than 800%. The startup was able to smoothly kick into hyperdrive from the regulatory infrastructure it began building by necessity since its launch in 2015. “It was as though the entire world tried to digitize in a 10-day period,” Kinsel tells Forbes.

When Covid-19 hit and the world went on lockdown, industries that operated exclusively on paper were left behind, scrambling to navigate the regulatory intricacies between the physical world and the Internet. Boston-based Notarize had the process down cold. “The reason we were doing well prior to Covid is because we had really created legal clarity in the market. Online is infinitely more convenient, but if it doesn’t have legal standing, it’s pointless.”

Kinsel knows all about a lack of legal standing, as well as the inconveniences of the notary process, which he encountered after selling Spindle, his mobile data collection startup, to Twitter in 2013. The transaction resulted in a ton of documents that needed to be notarized, and when the notary stamped, but forgot to sign them, the documents became invalid. This began a weeks-long process to ratify the situation, which Kinsel vowed to never do again. In an effort to eliminate this pain point by bringing the process online, Kinsel spent the last few years, and tens of millions of dollars, navigating the thorny notarization regulatory system, which intersects different requirements at the federal and state levels, and in some instances, county. Kinsel himself has traveled to 40 states and helped pass 31 pieces of state legislation to help pave the way for Notarize, which proved critical when the demand poured in last March.

Read more/Source: Forbes