DocuSign Buys Liveoak For $38M To Boost New Notary Offering

DocuSign (DOCU) has announced that it has snapped up Austin-based startup, Liveoak Technologies, for $38 million in an all-stock transaction- citing increased demand for completing agreements remotely.

Shares in DOCU rose 4% in Tuesday’s trading, bringing the stock’s year-to-date gain to an impressive 167%.

Liveoak uses web-based videoconferencing, collaboration features, identity verification and other tools to help complete an auditable transaction remotely- and DocuSign eSignature is already integrated with Liveoak’s secure agreement-collaboration platform.

Going forward, DocuSign plans to use Liveoak’s technology and expertise to accelerate the launch of DocuSign Notary, a new product that focuses on remote online notarization (RON)—where audio-visual technology is used to complete a notarial act when the signers and the notary public are in different places.

With early-access set for later this summer, DocuSign Notary will enable notarized transactions via video—something increasingly supported by U.S. states’ legislatures and executive orders. It will also boost the company’s existing eNotary offering, which enables a notary public to act as an in-person witness to the electronic signing of documents.

DocuSign says it will continue to offer Liveoak’s platform for remotely completing other “assisted agreements”—such as account openings or virtual inspections—that require in-person facilitation and an audit trail.

“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” commented DocuSign COO, Scott Olrich.

Analysts have a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy consensus on DOCU stock, with 9 recent buy ratings vs 5 hold ratings. Meanwhile the average analyst price target of $170 now falls 14% below the current share price.

“We view DOCU as a core investment holding because it is lightly penetrated in a large TAM, and is a proven growth compounder operating in the attractive back-office-automation category with expanding margins” commented Oppenheimer’s Koji Ikeda after he initiated coverage of the stock with a buy rating and $200 price target.

“While long-term positive, we do acknowledge potential near-term sentiment headwinds from valuation and a strong rally since its March lows” he added. (See DOCU stock analysis on TipRanks).

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