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From Layoff To Legal Tech: Founder’s Startup Gains Momentum

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Editor’s note: This is an update to a series Crunchbase News published earlier this year featuring workers displaced by the waves of tech layoffs this year who used the transition to found their own companies. We first profiled Anmol Sahai and his legal tech startup in May 2023 here

When tech layoffs began to pick up last year, quite a few people freshly out of work used their newfound free time to launch startups.

Among them was Anmol Sahai, whom we first profiled in May. Last year, the recent law school grad and former legal analyst at online mortgage lender co-founded Composure, a software startup aimed at streamlining workflows for in-house legal teams.

After securing a few hundred thousand in initial funding in late 2022, including backing from seed and early-stage investor Day One Ventures, Sahai and co-founder Ilia Rogov have kept busy.

Over the past six months, Composure has expanded its roster of paying customers, launched a pilot with a large alternative asset manager, and entered into a design partnership with a tech company. The startup has also built up its core product and brought on a product adviser.

Although it’s expanding, New York-based Composure remains a lean operation. Sahai said he is thinking about ramping up fundraising, but acknowledges these are tough times for landing capital. Networking, on the other hand, is a much more straightforward path to growth.

“We’ve noticed that as economic capital is drying up, social capital is very pertinent these days,” Sahai said. On that front, the community of former employees has been a big help, serving as one important channel for getting the word out about Composure.

The startup also brought on board attorney and IP litigator Chris Colvin as general counsel. Thus far, Sahai said, he has played a valuable role as an evangelist for the company, helping raise Composure’s profile in the legal community.

AI assistance

The increasing sophistication of AI-enabled prospecting tools have also been a boon, Sahai said, proving especially helpful for building outreach campaigns. However, he said he still shies away from using the technology to draft emails to prospective customers, noting that AI-generated communications lack a human voice.

Unlike most startups, which hate seeing mountains of new regulations for their chosen industry, Composure mostly sees new compliance burdens as an opportunity.

The startup has made a business of targeting regulated industries — financial services and fintech in particular — where much of the work of in-house legal departments involves compliance-related tasks. It’s working on tools to automate some of the more repetitive compliance functions.

For more complex undertakings, meanwhile, the startup is developing data management tools tailored for in-house legal teams.

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Illustration: Dom Guzman

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