OneNotary raises $1.75M to develop online notarization in the US
The Ukrainian startup OneNotary, working in the US market, has raised a $1.75 million investment round. AIN.UA talked with its co-founders and is now ready to share some details with you.
Details of the deal
- OneNotary is a US online notarization platform founded by Ukrainians.
- The startup got $1.75 million in venture investments.
- This seed round was co-led by Adventures Lab VC, Digital Future VC, U.Ventures, TMT Investments, and GoodPaper Venture. The company’s evaluation and its share, which has been sold to investors, are kept secret, but usually, a startup sells 10-15% per round.
According to the Adventures Lab’s managing partner Andrew Kryvorchuk, his fund met Ivan Zinkov, the founder and CEO at OneNotary, a year before the deal. They had regular communication and consultations and monitored the development of the startup’s product.
“First of all, they have a great founder and team. They are excellent in B2B sales in the US and have exceptional soft skills. The team bootstrapped for several years, invested all their savings in the project, and got dozens of “no” from potential investors, who didn’t believe in the idea to promote such a project from Ukraine in the US market. Until we demonstrated the opposite,” Kryvorchuk said.
He believes two essential factors convinced the fund to enter the project: good sales for the last year and the passed “easy money” test — the team refused to be acquired by one of the American legal tech actors. And it happened when the startup was far beyond his “financial comfort zone.”
What does the startup work on?
The OneNotary platform was founded in 2020 by the Ukrainian entrepreneur Ivan Zinkov, three engineers, and a designer. The project started amid the pandemic.
“In the past, we all worked at an American company Tonic Health for almost five years. I was the head of the engineering team in Ukraine, and other co-founders worked on C-level positions. After that company was sold in late 2019, we decided to run our own project,” Zinkov said to AIN.UA.
The startup team consists of 16 people: most of them are located in Ukraine, and the founder moved to the USA at the end of 2020, where he and a part of the sales team are active in sales and investments.
Before the pandemics, online notarization was legal only in a few states. However, such kind of legalization is demanded in all industries: real estate, car sales, education, etc. But every state, industry, or even county has its own rules and procedures, which sometimes require 2-3 witnesses or a notary who is fluent in Spanish, French, or German.
“We have validated the idea of online notarization before the pandemics, but the world has changed, and we saw the perspective for this market. For example, before Covid, you might notarize online only in a few states, but their number significantly grew during the quarantine. So, it was a signal for us to go this direction,” Zinkov said. Currently, online notarization is legal in 39 states.
OneNotary offers online notarization services. Its creators think that an online service is more secure than the offline, thanks to such options as audio and video recording, signer ID verification, and digital document sealing protected from unauthorized access. In addition, the service works based on AI: algorithms give recommendations on how to fill out the paper and underline possible errors.
OneNotary currently has over 10,000 notaries from all states registered in its network.
How will they use raised funds?
The company plans to invest in developing its solution for business, anti-fraud improvements, and AI-driven document creation acceleration. They also want to invest in marketing. According to its founder, OneNotary aims to create the fastest online notarization tool in the USA. That’s why they are developing an AI system for document creation. The team also works on how to integrate its online notarization solution into different business tools.
“Our partners will be able to implement our product into their systems within an hour and use it independently (for example, in mobile banking),” Zinkov said.