Startup corner: Orange Rag launches legal tech startup initiative

From today (8 March) we will be publishing a series of legal technology startup profiles that will form the basis of a dedicated digital supplement and networking opportunity with law firms. On top of some of the key vital statistics that can be surprisingly hard to track down, we’ll bring you details of the growth strategy, investment plans, new developments and challenges for some of the most exciting startups and scaleups in the market. Already waiting in the wings (don’t panic, see below if you haven’t already submitted a profile) are:

Access Solicitor: A lawyer comparison website that describes itself as the ‘Just Eat for Lawyers’ founded by Warren Smith and Divyang Mistry. It says the most exciting developments in its market include the launch of Law Superstore in 2016, which follows and validates what Access Solicitor has been doing since 2013.

Autto: A software that automates the repetitive aspects of legal and compliance processes, Autto is a cloud-based SaaS toolkit that enables you to build up automated workflows. Founded in April 2016 by Max Cole, a former solicitor (Freshfields and Mischcon de Reya) and currently a practising barrister; and Ian Gosling, a product manager and former VC with a background in the TMT sector, Autto plans to raise investment in 2017.

Appdopt: A London-based startup founded by director Billy Johal in 2015 but that officially went to market in April 2016. Appdopt is a dynamic SaaS online platform that allows end users to be trained on Office 365, Microsoft, Google, CRMs, SharePoint and other common workplace software. Its entire business is a remote team of workers.

Checkrecipient: Founded in 2013, Legal IT Insider broke the news of one of Checkrecipient’s early deals with Travers Smith in October 2016. Its software uses machine learning and natural language processing techniques to learn what constitutes a normal pattern of email messaging behaviour, preventing data loss from misdirected emails.

DW Reporting: A borderline startup, DW Reporting launched in 2013 and provides software agnostic financial business intelligence and data analytics for law firms. Founded by Dan Wales, Dan is surprisingly very often asked what the DW stands for. Without a doubt one of the most comprehensive profiles we received, we’re looking forward to publishing it in full.

E3 Compliance Training: Making compliance training “fun and engaging”, E3 develops apps that take some of the friction out of compliance training. Founded in 2015, E3’s three cofounders have self-funded the company to date but say they are currently looking at investment.

Encompass: Founded in Australia in 2012 but 2015 in the UK, Encompass Corporation is a leading RegTech company using technology to automate Know Your Customer policies. It received £3.6m in investment funding in 2016 and during 2017 plans to consolidate and grow its market in the UK and globally.

F-LEX: Described as the “task rabbit” for law firms and inhouse counsel to give them access to pre-vetted university or LPC students to assist them with paralegallevel work. F-LEX is founded by Legalgeek founder Jimmy Vestbirk alongside lawyer Mary Bonsor and technologist James Moore. F-LEX’s panel of advisers are fairly heavyweight, including Tony Williams, founder of Jomati Consultants.

Juralio: Produces HTML5 web apps with a strong emphasis on user experience to help lawyers and their clients collaborate more effectively. The company was founded in 2013 by CEO Graeme Johnston, a former arbitration partner at Herbert Smith (pre Freehills merger); and chairman Steven Larcombe, formerly a business executive at BG.

Juro: We hear good things about Juro from unexpected quarters. A contact management provider that offers businesses a smarter way to manage their paperwork, Juro was founded in 2015 by former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer corporate lawyer Richard Mabey and ex-Accenture IT consultant Pavel Kovalevich. The business is targeting high volume B2B businesses.

Kira Systems: The Canadian darling of the contract due diligence world, Kira barely seems a startup but just about scrapes in, having been founded in 2011 by former Weil, Gotshal & Manges lawyer Noah Waisberg and Alexander Hudek, who holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Waterloo. Clients include Clifford Chance and DLA Piper.

Lexoo: Describes itself as the world’s leading curated legal marketplace. Founded in 2014 by Daniel van Binsbergen, Lexoo helps businesses source lawyers at an average cost saving of 46%. Lexoo has been through a few rounds of investment, from early stage VC funds to the Mayor of London’s Co-Investment Fund and a number of angel investors.

Linkilaw: A legal platform for startups, Linkilaw was founded by CEO Alexandra Isenegger, who says “I embarked on this journey to democratise legal services on February 2015.” Linkilaw helps all pre Series-B startups with their legal needs and was built out of the admirable desire to better provide access to justice.

MyDocSafe: Featured on page 9, MyDocSafe was founded in 2013 by Daniel Stachowiak. It is a front-end workflow tool that allows firms to quickly onboard and undertake KYC checks on clients, using facial recognition and blockchain technology.

RAVN Systems: RAVN uses natural language processing and machine learning to index, organise, discover and summarise content. Founded in 2010 by Jan Van Hoecke, Peter Wallqvist, Sjoerd Smeets and Simon Pecovnic, RAVN is also a borderline startup, working with clients such as BT, Withers, Travers Smith and Berwin Leighton Paisner.

ReviewSolicitors: ReviewSolicitors receives around 30,000 visitors a month, who use the site to research, review and instruct a solicitor. It has a serious pedigree: the business was founded by Saleem Arif (founder of QualitySolicitors), Pete Storey (founder of 1Cover, Australia’s largest independent travel insurer) and Michael Hanney (head of business development at QualitySolicitors).

Route1: Route1 is looking to disrupt the recruitment market by connecting candidates and employers directly through a smart app. Founded in August in 2015 by Franky Athill, Route1 has received three rounds of investment to date and, Athill says, a “very supportive board that has given a lot guidance as well as investing themselves.”

ThoughtRiver: Legal IT Insider has written a number of times about ThoughtRiver, which was founded by Taylor Vinters partner Tim Pullen and applies machine learning to underpin a sophisticated contract risk and intelligence tool. Our favourite observation from Pullen, which will appear in ThoughtRiver’s fully published profile, is the name that he nearly chose instead of ThoughtRiver, and the reasons he didn’t choose it.

There’s still time to send us your profile (NB we will not publish profiles consisting mostly of yes/no answers!) and we will be contacting a number of startups for more in-depth interviews too. Please contact either or for further details.

This is a slightly edited version of an article that appeared in our February newsletter – sign here for your free monthly copy: