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Notarize Cuts 25% Of Staff, Citing Need To ‘Evolve’

David Krechevsky
Jun 22, 2022
Notarize new logo

CEO of online notary service says economy, world events create ‘uncertainty’

Notarize, the Boston-based company that offered the first entirely online real estate closing process, announced the layoff of 25% of its staff last week.

In a Twitter thread posted June 15, Co-Founder & CEO Pat Kinsel wrote that Notarize “let go of approximately 25% of our team today.” Various published reports place the number of layoffs at 110.

“We are exceptionally proud of the team we’ve built and they are leaving through no fault of their own — they are truly the best of the best,” Kinsel wrote on Twitter. “I will forever be grateful for the chance to work with them.”

Kinsel said the company is “providing severance, support services, and eliminating the one-year vesting cliff.” He also said Notarize would share the list of laid off employees, and asked companies with jobs to offer to contact him directly. 

Founded in 2015, Notarize reaped the benefits of the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased demand for remote notarization services. In 2021, Inc. magazine ranked the company 114th on its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies nationwide, and as the fourth-fastest growing company in the Boston area.

Earlier in 2021, the company had announced raising $130 million in a Series D funding round led by Canapi Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on financial technology copmanies.

In May 2019, Notarize announced it passed the $1 billion mark for real estate transactions after just 18 months in business. At the time, it said it worked with companies that facilitated 40% of all U.S. real estate transactions. 

In his Twitter thread last week, Kinsel credited the “Notarize team” with making “an epic dent in the universe over the past few years,” citing “39 laws changed, (greater than) 1,000% growth, margins improved by 170 points, & endless industries digitized for the 1st-time ever.” 

In a separate statement, however, Kinsel said that, “Our regulatory victories and partnerships have put the company in a fundamentally different position over the past two years, and our strategy must evolve. We can no longer delay in addressing these issues.”

He continued, “Additionally, the state of the economy and world events is creating a lot of uncertainty and putting significant pressure on businesses everywhere. While many of these factors propel Notarize’s business, they also change the company’s access to future investment and force us to re-evaluate what we can invest in and pursue.”

The statement added, “We have made the difficult decision to eliminate a significant number of roles across the organization in order to realign resources against our most critical goals.”

In his Twitter thread, Kinsel also referred to a recent statement by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which in May shared with startup founders a 52-slide presentation via Zoom warning of a “crucible moment” that would affect their ability to raise capital. The presentation cited high inflation, stock market volatility, and world events for creating uncertainty.

“I believe @sequoia that this is a ‘crucible moment’ & have made the decision to put Notarize on a path to profitability w/our current capital so we can provide our service in perpetuity,” Kinsel wrote on Twitter. “It’s hard to reconcile that we’re both growing AND shrinking, but it is the right decision.”

Published
Jun 22, 2022
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