DocuSign buys Liveoak Technologies, aims to bring virtual notary services to Agreement Cloud

Liveoak uses videoconferencing and other collaboration tools to allow users to complete a notarial act when the signers and the notary public are in different places.

DocuSign said Tuesday that it's acquiring Liveoak Technologies for $38 million. The deal is another effort to bolster the capabilities of DocuSign's Agreement Cloud, a platform that lets people electronically prepare, sign, act-on and manage contract agreements.

Liveoak relies on web-based videoconferencing, identity verification and other collaboration tools to enable users to complete an auditable transaction -- something that requires signature verification from a notary -- remotely.

DocuSign plans to use Liveoak's technology to ramp up the launch of DocuSign Notary, a new product set to debut in the Agreement Cloud later this summer. The notary suite focuses on remote online notarization (RON), wherein audio-visual technology is used when the signers and the notary public are in different places, DocuSign said.

DocuSign Notary will also help improve the company's existing eNotary offering, which lets a notary act as an in-person witness to documents signed electronically. DocuSign said it will continue to offer Liveoak's platform for remotely completing other "assisted agreements" that require in-person activities and an audit trail.

SEE: DocuSign: How it plans to expand from e-signature to digital transformation engine, agreement cloud

"DocuSign is practically synonymous with the electronic completion of agreements from almost anywhere, on almost any device," said DocuSign COO Scott Olrich. "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."

Earlier this year DocuSign scooped up Seal Software, a company focused on AI technology for contracts, to add to the feature set of Agreement Cloud.