LegalTech Companies Snap Up $106M In VC During Active January

For the second time in two weeks, a company focused on making lawyers’ lives a bit easier has secured venture capital.

Yesterday, Ironclad, a San Francisco-based company working on contract management, announced that it raised a $23 million Series B, bringing its total known funding up to $34 million, according to Crunchbase data.

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The company has attracted deep-pocketed investors to fund its platform built for in-house lawyers. The Y Combinator alumni’s most recent investment was led by Sequoia Capital, and Accel ed its previous Series A.

It seems that investors have become more interested in legaltech companies over the past year. As mentioned above, Ironclad isn’t the only legaltech company that picked up capital recently. In last week’s installment of Last Week In Venture, Jason covered Disco, a startup focused on e-discovery. The Texas-based company raised an $83 million Series E, which it said makes it the most well-funded enterprise legaltech company in the industry. That round was led by Georgian Partners.

Back in September, two other companies in the enterprise legaltech space, Atrium LTS and Kira Systems, raised $65 million and $49 million, respectively, from big-name investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Insight Venture Partners.

According to Crunchbase, more than $825 million in venture funding has been directed toward companies in the legal and legaltech categories since the beginning of 2018 compared to around $305 million in 2017.

We’ve compiled the top rounds for companies in those two categories since the beginning of last year. Take a look:

Companies like Disco, Atrium, Kira Systems, Everlaw, and Logikcull aim to reduce work by automating mundane tasks, particularly where workflows can be made more efficient. But lawyers aren’t the only ones who benefit from automation in the legal field.

Startups, including some of the companies in the chart above, also aim to help those who frequently use or are in need of legal services. U.K.-based Apperio, for example, raised a $10 million Series A in August 2018 to help companies keep track of their legal spending. Other players like Farewill, which helps people electronically set up their wills, or Court Buddy which is an app that matches people with lawyers have focused in on the individual market.

When I spoke to the U.S.Digital Service in September, the team working at the Department of Homeland Security had automated parts of the approval process for green card renewals, which reduced case backlogs by months and even years. We also spoke about the potential for contract creation automation to have far-reaching effects in government, particularly for public-facing services.

It’s clear that the many visible pain points, including in legal document creation and processing, have far-reaching implications beyond the startup and legal market. Adding technology to those systems can dramatically change the way that private companies and governments operate and can increase accessibility on multiple levels for individuals.

If legaltech companies can do it right, and investors catch on, we might see a lot more venture growth in this space in the future.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias

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