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These 7 hot lawtech startups have raised millions from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Accel to digitize the legal sector

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Bryter raised a $16 million Series A funding round led by Dawn Capital and Accel in June.

Bryter


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  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the legal sector has come under increasing pressure to digitize, and this is accelerating investment in lawtech startups. 
  • In recent months, high-profile investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and Accel have all backed early-stage lawtech companies. 
  • Business insider spoke with industry experts to identify seven of the hottest lawtech startups to watch in 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The pandemic is increasing the pressure on the legal sector to digitize — and investors are taking note. 

In the past few months, lawtech startups such as Farewill, DoNotPay, and Bryter have raised multi-million dollar funding rounds from high-profile investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and Accel.

The global lawtech industry is already worth $15.9 billion, with most of the growth coming from lawtech startups working within the existing, and largely analogue, legal infrastructure. Now there is a push for more disruptive tech, and global consultancy McKinsey estimates that a quarter of a lawyer’s job can be automated.

“In short, the crisis is the biggest digital campaign ever,” says Stan Laurent, a partner at VC firm Highland Europe, one of the investors in Farewill. “I think we’ll all agree that it’s a disaster, but from a digital perspective it’s created enormous tailwind.”

We spoke with industry insiders to identify seven hot lawtech startups to watch.

Check them out — in no particular order — below:

Lexoo

Lexoo’s CEO and co-founder Daniel van Binsbergen.

Lexoo


Total raised:$6.4 million

Chosen by: Jenifer Swallow, director of lawtech at Tech Nation

Headquarters:London, UK

What it does:Lexoo wants to redefine legal services by using its tech and a network of more than 1,000 lawyers to automate admin and improve efficiency. The platform matches commerical lawyers with businesses looking for a range of legal services.

Why it’s hot in 2020:“Work is delivered efficiently and at lower cost, offering a new model to the market that is particularly well-used by in-house teams in what is becoming a buyer’s market,” says Swallow. 

Clause

The Clause team.

Clause


Total raised:$10 million

Chosen by:Josh Browder, founder of lawtech startup DoNotPay

Headquarters:New York, US

What it does:Clause’s platform offers dynamic contract management that aims to speed up the process of writing contracts and reduces compliance risk. It provides businesses with an automated system to verify the data in contracts and enforce any unmet obligations. 

Why it’s hot in 2020:“What they do is automated contracts, and it’s not really so much about blockchain, I think that’s overhyped, it’s more about monitoring the terms in the contracts, and then automating the delivery,” says Browder. 

“For example, if you’re a truck driver and you arrive at the destination on time, you type it into your phone and then automatically the person who’s who’s paying you gets paid.”

Farewill

Farewill cofounders Tom Rogers and Dan Garrett.

Farewill


Total raised:$38.5 million

Chosen by: Jenifer Swallow, director of lawtech at Tech Nation

Headquarters:London, UK

What it does:Farewill tries to simplify will writing by cutting out legal jargon and hidden fees. It aims to reduce the time it takes to write a will to as little as 15 minutes. 

Why it’s hot in 2020:“Farewill helps sort out legally binding wills and probate from the comfort of their own home, quickly, easily and sensitively, while removing the expense and hassle of seeing a solicitor in person. [It has] seen significant growth through Covid, writing 12,000 wills a month now the biggest will writer in the country, and expanding into additional end of life service,” says Swallow. 

Tim Levene, CEO of VC Augmentum, adds that “death is the biggest financial event of one’s lifetime yet it is surrounded by a legal process that has changed little over the years.”

“The industry is perceived as unwelcoming, expensive and consuming however Farewill has genuinely disrupted this market, and it is the first to effectively do so at any scale. They now write one in 25 wills that are written in the UK, but with only 2% of the market online and 60% of UK adults without a will there is a significant need for further digital disruption and innovation beyond will writing.”

SeedLegals

SeedLegals founders Anthony Rose and Laurent Laffy.

SeedLegals


Total raised:$5.2 million

Chosen by: Jenifer Swallow, director of lawtech at Tech Nation

Headquarters:London, UK

What it does:Using legal support and contract building tools, SeedLegals looks to simplify the process of raising investment for startups. Its platform centralizes the proceess of creating, negotiating, and signing the legal documents needed to complete a funding round. 

Why it’s hot in 2020:“The world’s first automated legal service for funding rounds, SeedLegals make it easy for startups to raise investment and manage company equity at a fraction of the cost of traditional service providers. It has a big vision for the future of legal services without lawyers, enabling businesses to get legal work done fast and affordably,” says Swallow.

ThoughtRiver

ThoughtRiver founder Tim Pullan.

ThoughtRiver


Total raised:$4 million

Chosen by: Jenifer Swallow, director of lawtech at Tech Nation

Headquarters:Cambridge, UK

What it does:ThoughtRiver’s automated contract review technology looks to speed up the contracting process by pre-screening legal documentaion and offering customised legal advice. 

Why it’s hot in 2020:“Risk review is becoming increasingly important and ThoughtRiver automates this along with providing AI guided contract remediation to speed up the entire contracting process and minimise lawyer time, getting people to signature and revenue faster,” says Swallow. “Big firms are integrating the tech to help them provide a better service to their clients.”

Michael Mashkautsan, partner at VC LocalGlobe, says that ThoughtRiver is “removing much of the legal friction that slows down transactions for corporates worldwide.”

“Their automated contract review enables lawyers to focus effectively on the key issues, while making contracts more accessible to non-lawyers. These are crucial both for ensuring corporate visibility and for optimising deal velocity.” 

Bryter

Bryter founders Michael Hübl (left), Michael Grupp (centre), and Micha-Manuel Bues.

Bryter


Total raised:$23 million

Chosen by:LocalGlobe, investors in ThoughtRiver

Headquarters:Berlin, Germany

What it does:Bryter helps experts leverage their knowledge by providing an automation platform that allows them to build digital, scalable apps without coding. It helps professionals transform legal know-how into easy-to-use digital tools.

Why it’s hot in 2020:Michael Mashkautsan, partner at LocalGlobe, says: “Bryter is a no-code platform used by professionals in corporate compliance, financial services, and administration to develop digital knowledge-based applications. It uniquely allows business experts to participate directly in the Enterprise Service Management by bridging the gap between domain expertise and software development skills.”

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