DocuSign acquires Liveoak and announces notarisation product

8 Jul 2020

Image: © Andrei/

DocuSign has agreed to acquire Liveoak, a start-up that uses web-based videoconferencing to help complete auditable transactions remotely, in a $38m all-stock transaction.

On Tuesday (7 July), DocuSign announced that it has built on its existing relationship with Austin-based start-up Liveoak, by acquiring the company for $38m in an all-stock transaction.

Liveoak, which uses web-based videoconferencing, collaboration features, identity verification and other tools to help complete auditable transactions remotely, had previously integrated DocuSign’s eSignature feature on its platform.

The acquiring firm plans to leverage Liveoak’s technology and expertise to accelerate the launch of DocuSign Notary. This new product in DocuSign’s Agreement Cloud suite focuses on remote online notarisation (RON) where audio-visual technology is used to complete a notarial act when the signers and notary public are in different places.

The company plans to launch early-access availability for DocuSign Notary later this summer with increasing support of US states’ legislatures and executive orders, according to the company.

The new notary feature will augment the company’s existing eNotary offering, which enables a notary public to act as an in-person witness to the electronic signing of documents.

The acquisition

As part of the acquisition of Liveoak, DocuSign will continue to offer the start-up’s platform for remotely completing other “assisted agreements” – such as account openings or virtual inspections that require in-person facilitation and an audit trail.

Scott Olrich, COO of DocuSign, said: “DocuSign is practically synonymous with the electronic completion of agreements from almost anywhere, on almost any device. But there is an important class of high-value agreements that require the live participation of a notary or other representative.

“With this acquisition, we intend to bring the DocuSign experience to those agreements too – so signers and those assisting can get business done no matter where they are.”

While commenting on the acquisition, Liveoak CEO Tim Ramza noted that many people wonder why they still need to sign documents in person, given technological advances made in the last decade. Ramza said that the Covid-19 pandemic has “only exacerbated” this concern.

Ramza added: “We’ve been working to solve this very issue for years and we’ve had a strong partnership with DocuSign as a result. By joining forces and fully integrating our solutions now, we can bring the ease and simplicity of DocuSign to the execution of notarised and other complex assisted agreements.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic