Dentons’ technology investment arm NextLaw Labs has announced that it has invested in Apperio, a legal tech startup focusing on legal tenders and eBilling, which was one of Legal IT Insider’s ‘Startup Corner’ companies at the end of 2014. NextLaw Labs is one of four investors in a Series A investment round that has seen Apperio raise a total of £1.7m.
This is the second portfolio company that NextLaw Labs has signed, following its investment in ROSS Intelligence, a startup developing a legal advisor app powered by IBM Watson. The other investors include one other strategic investor and two venture capital funds, which have yet to be disclosed.
NextLaw Labs and Apperio will work together to streamline matter management, track legal spend in real time and standardise the legal tender process, saving lawyers’ time and introducing new best practices via technology.
NextLaw Labs was connected to Apperio through European business accelerator, Seedcamp, which in 2013 voted Apperio – then called Legal Tender – as one of its 11 winning startups selected for investment and mentoring.
Apperio initially focussed on the private equity sector and counts among its clients European mid-market firm CapVest and UK fund manager Octopus Investments, which initially used the platform to manage their relationships with law firms including Kirkland & Ellis, Taylor Wessing and Olswang.
However, since Olswang asked Apperio to develop a solution to give its fee-earners increased billing visibility and analytics, Apperio has modified its model so that it targets the private practice sector and gives corporate counsel a freemium version of its software.
Firms are able to share billing information with clients via a client portal, so, according to Apperio founder and CEO, Nicholas d’Adhemar, “they are both looking at one version of the truth.” Apperio has also built a pricing tool for law firms that enables lawyers to easily build a budget based on cumulative historical transactions.
“We are thrilled to be working with one of the most promising legal tech startups for matter management in the market. Apperio is a product that we believe will be a game-changer in the competition for legal panel positions and we are already pilot-testing a prototype with Dentons partners and business development professionals in London,” said Dan Jansen, CEO of NextLaw Labs (pictured on the home page.)
D’Adhemar, a former CMS Cameron McKenna associate, said, “We are excited to be working with NextLaw Labs and leveraging their extensive knowledge of the industry. They share our vision of using intuitive technology to eradicate information asymmetry and provide real-time transparency to the benefit of both the law firm and their clients.”