Now we can add notary services to the list of conveniences we can call up with a tap on our iPhones thanks to Notarize, a months-old startup with offices in Alexandria, Va., and in Boston. It offers a 24-hour service that enables people in all 50 states to have their documents notarized remotely. [Yay.]
If you’ve experienced the ridiculousness of having to track down a notary, this may all sound too good to be true. And it would have been until very recently. But in 2011, Virginia passed a bill allowing documents to be notarized remotely, using audio-video technology.
Founder and CEO Pat Kinsel discovered this law soon after learning on, while on vacation, that a brokerage couldn’t accept a document that he’d given to a notary who lost track of it.
Kinsel — who cofounded an earlier company called Spindle that sold to Twitter and who is today also a venture partner with Polaris Partners — says that out of his own “intellectual curiosity, I started researching this in my spare time.”
One of the things Kinsel learned? That there’s a $30 billion potential market opportunity to chase, given that an estimated one billion documents get notarized annually in the U.S. (Many are these are done for free, we should mention, but Notarize is charging $25 per document for its ease of use.)