- Stavvy runs a service that allows home buyers to complete the process of signing an online mortgage.
- Co-founder Kosta Ligris helped introduce state laws to allow documents to be notarized remotely.
- His company, co-founded with Josh Feinblum, has just raised more than $ 40 million in Series A funding.
- See more stories on the Insider activity page.
Josh Feinblum thought he might be able to make the lives of the owners easier. He did not expect the service he had received to make him weep with joy.
But that’s what happened a few weeks ago. He saw a homeowner tear up while signing the latest documents to lessen the weight of his mortgage payments, which had become onerous in the last months after the pandemic. The whole process was done online, through Stavvy, Feinblum’s company.
On Monday, Stavvy announced he had raised $ 40 million in Series A funding, led by Morningside Technology Ventures. The company declined to disclose its assessment after the round.
Based in Boston, Stavvy runs a service for
have important real estate documents signed and notarized online. Prior to last year, that process still happened in person, and the whole process usually took weeks back and forth. But locks spread across the country in response to COVID-19 have made the typical procedure unsustainable.
Earlier last year, most states required documents to be notarized in person. But now, more than 30 states have passed laws in the last year that make it possible to obtain notarized documents remotely.
Stavvy’s idea came to co-founder Kosta Ligris through his work in a real estate law firm. I had long fought around the idea of starting a company that would digitalize the whole process of getting a mortgage. In a world where consumers can make millions of other purchases with a single click, having to turn around hard copies of contracts – and deal with the myriad of errors and discrepancies that often result – seems unnecessarily cumbersome.
Feinblum, whom Ligris met in business school, turned out to be on the same page. In December 2018, at a holiday party hosted by Ligris ’brother, Feinblum made fun of all the rumors he had to jump in to close a home purchase almost a year ago. Ligris recruited him as their technical partner for the company.
The two set to work to build Stavvy’s first service, a document service for title insurance companies. Ligris and Feinblum were launched in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic resumed in the United States.
But the two co-founders saw another opportunity that made them change gears and focus on their remote technology of note: The future economic crisis will increase the demand for adjustments to existing mortgage loans. So they are going to work on building a new service for loan companies and mortgage holders to sign the necessary documents for online loan changes.
There was only one attachment: only a handful of states allowed these documents to be notarized remotely. That has begun to change, though it has become clearer that the pandemic will keep businesses closed for months to come.
Ligris himself had a hand in realizing it. He was part of a group of real estate attorneys who pushed for the passage of an executive order in Connecticut approving remote notarization, and in Massachusetts, he helped draft a similar provision that the state legislature passed.
“We weren’t on the sidelines,” Ligris said. “We’re busy, we’ve rolled up our sleeves, we’re looking at how we can help.”
More than 30 states now allow documents to be notarized remotely. At the national level, Senators Mark Warner and Kevin Cramer have presented an invoice which would authorize remote notarization throughout the United States.
It’s a blessing for Stavvy, who is now looking to increase hiring to expand on her services. The company has about 40 employees and plans to increase its number of people between 80 and 100 by the end of the year, Feinblum told Insider. Last year, he was able to hire local engineers from other technology companies which had to be reduced during the pandemic.
Feinblum and Ligris aim to eventually branch out into other areas where notarization may be necessary, including certain forms of government and applications.
“We want to take defining moments in people’s lives and simplify them,” Feinblum said.