Austin Allison

Zillow Acquires DotLoop, An E-Signing Service For Real Estate Agents

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Online real estate service Zillow today announced that it has acquired DotLoop, a service that aims to simplify the complex process of buying and selling real estate by taking much of the document sharing and signing process online.

The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Zillow expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2015. Cincinnati-based DotLoop raised a total of $14 million. This includes a $7 million Series A round from Trinity Ventures back in 2012.

According to Zillow, about half a million people sign their documents with DotLoop every month and agents create about 300,000 workspaces on the services per month. Using DotLoop, agents, buyers and sellers can share, edit, sign and store their documents digitally.

For Zillow, this means that it can now offer its partners a full spectrum of services that range from marketing their homes all the way to the signing process. Chances are, after all, that many of the agents on its service were already using a similar service to manage documents. DotLoop’s biggest competitor are likely services like DocuSign and Adobe’s Document Cloud. Unlike these companies, though, DotLoop solely focuses on real estate and hence offers an experience that is geared toward this single use case.

“Real estate transactions are already moving online – it’s what home buyers, sellers and real estate professionals want. We’re incredibly excited by DotLoop’s innovation and leadership in making digital transactions a reality,” said Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group, in a canned statement today.

“Now we will be able to make their technology more readily available to Zillow Group’s 10,000 broker partners and the agents they represent, as well as our approximately 100,000 real estate agent advertisers, resulting in a smoother and more efficient transaction process for everyone.”

With Zillow’s marketing power and existing relationships, DotLoop’s user base will surely grow rapidly in the near future. “Becoming part of Zillow Group will provide us with new resources to help us grow and expand our business, while we add value to our current customers by offering increased support and faster product development,” DotLoop founder Austin Allison argued today.

Allison founded DotLoop in 2008, but as he told our own Anthony Ha back in 2012, the idea for the service came to him ten years earlier when he was 17 and buying his first home (yep – 17 – not a typo). At the time, agents still used fax machines to send documents back and forth. I’m sure some of them still do that today, but I’ve seen quite a few brokerages move to electronic signatures over the last few years, too, and that’s clearly a market Zillow wants to capture.