Notarizea startup offering online remote notarial services has let 110 people – or 25% of its workforce – go.
You can calculate that the seven-year-old Boston-based company had about 440 employees before the cutback.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, demand for Notarize’s services, known as RON for short, skyrocketed as people were confined to their homes. This was especially true for people who bought or refinanced homes, as mortgage rates were near all-time lows at the time. Having documents notarized “online, anywhere, anytime, with notaries available 24×7 via computer, tablet or smartphone” was more than just a little appealing to many.
But things have changed. Pandemic isolation is long gone and with mortgage rates soaring to nearly 6% on a 30-year loan, the housing market has slowed significantly.
In March 2021, Notarize announced it had raised $130 million in a Series D financing round led by fintech-focused VC firm Canapi Ventures, following 600% year-over-year revenue growth. The round valued Notarize at $760 million, which was three times the valuation at the time of its $35 million Series C in March 2020.
It is not the first time that the company has had to go down the layoff route. Notarize saw “critical funding” fall in 2019 and had to lay off staff, according to CEO and founder Pat Kinsel.
After the pandemic, the business hit, and Kinsel did its best to get the right legislation in place across the country so more people in more states could digitally sign documents.
In a statement released this week, CEO and founder Pat Kinsel suggested that getting additional funding would be a challenge.
Our regulatory and partnership victories have put the company in a fundamentally different position over the past two years and our strategy must evolve. We can no longer delay tackling these issues. In addition, the state of the economy and events in the world create a lot of uncertainty and put great pressure on companies everywhere. While many of these factors drive Notarize’s business, they also alter the company’s access to future investments and force us to re-evaluate where we can invest and what we can strive for. We have made the difficult decision to eliminate a significant number of roles in the organization to realign resources towards our most critical goals. We have an incredible list of current and prospective customers and partners, and we remain confident in the company’s future and the value we bring to businesses and consumers alike. Choosing to say goodbye to highly valued employees was not a decision we took lightly as we say goodbye to colleagues who have done an exceptional job building this business and fulfilling our mission for our customers.
He also discussed the move in this Twitter thread†