Neota and Kira among A&O Fuse’s latest cohort

Allen & Overy has confirmed the second cohort of companies selected for tech innovation space Fuse, which includes established vendors Neota Logic and Kira Systems and has a strong emphasis on AI. From May, five new companies will move into the space to join three companies from the first cohort – Avvoka, Legatics and Nivaura – who are staying on.
Fuse opened in September 2017 and since opening has welcomed over 5,500 visitors – from Allen & Overy, clients and beyond – and played host to the successful issuance from Nivaura of the world’s first fully automated cryptocurrency-denominated bond and the first structured product to be transacted and custodied, in each case using blockchain. Fuse has also prompted the launch of numerous client and internal product pilots and collaborations, including the global Banking practice embracing a new technology from Legatics following a successful trial period.
After accepting applications online, Allen & Overy invited a selection of tech companies to a pitch day. Companies were asked to present to the Fuse selection committee which included Amazon’s Alex Wong and Jordan Elsas – from London and New York, respectively – Funding Circle’s Robert Kerrigan, Index Ventures’ Hannah Seal and J.P. Morgan’s Oli Harris.
Following the pitch process, the five companies which will move into Fuse in May are as follows:

Bloomsbury AI – an early stage company that uses natural language understanding, cognitive capabilities and machine learning to create virtual assistants that can be taught to read, reason and communicate.

Kira Systems – provides machine learning technology for document review and analysis, which has been licensed by Allen & Overy.

Neota Logic – a provider of automation software whose AI-powered app development platform enables professionals to build and deploy applications that automate legal expertise, processes and documents.

Regnosys – a fintech company which leverages the open source to deliver “machine executable regulation” and drive radical change in the financial industry’s approach to regulatory compliance.

Signal Media – an AI-powered intelligence firm turning information into accessible, actionable business knowledge. Artificial Intelligence is applied to millions of content-rich sources – from news media to global regulatory updates – driving insight and helping businesses manage the risks and opportunities they face.

Jonathan Brayne, Chairman of Fuse at Allen & Overy, commented: “We’re excited to welcome the next batch of businesses into Fuse. This cohort’s focus is very different to that of the first – there’s a strong AI theme here – but there’s the same sense of anticipation as when we opened our doors last September.”
Shruti Ajitsaria, Head of Fuse at Allen & Overy, added: “Opening for the second cohort has enabled us to keep abreast of the constantly changing legaltech ecosystem and we’re really pleased with the standard of the companies joining us next month. We look forward to building on the learnings that we gained from the first cohort to ensure that this programme is just as successful.”
The three companies from the first cohort that are staying on in Fuse – Avvoka, Legatics and Nivaura – will continue to work with Allen & Overy lawyers and clients on the next phase of development.
The second phase of the Fuse programme attracted over 80 applications from a variety of enterprises; 44% of which focus on platforms, a quarter on workflow (25%), while regtech businesses represented 19% and intelligent documents-focussed companies constituted 10%. Document management businesses represented 3% of applicants. In terms of development stage, almost two thirds of the applicants (63%) have existing users, while 31% are at the prototype phase and 6% are still at concept stage.
40% of companies revealed that the primary type of assistance sought through the Fuse programme related to product development, this was followed by business development or marketing (30%) and advisory assistance (10%).