Microsoft’s M12 leads £2.2m Seed+ investment in legal tech startup Definely

Contract drafting and review startup Definely has announced a £2.2m Seed+ funding, co-led by Microsoft’s venture fund, M12, and CRE Venture Capital. The latest funding follows a Seed round raised in September 2020, bringing Definely’s total investment to date to £3.4m.

Definely was previously just called ‘Define’ and it came to our attention partly through being selected by Allen & Overy for its startup incubator Fuse. Its customers now include some of the world’s largest law firms, financial institutions and multinational corporations including Deloitte, Allen & Overy and Dentons. Ben Brooks, an associate at Allen & Overy said: “Before Definely I would have to have multiple copies of the same contract open on my screens or a printed copy in front of me. Definely allows you to work logically through the contract whilst viewing and editing other areas, never having to navigate away from the provision you are considering. I would not want to draft a contract without using Definely.”

The brainchild of former magic circle solicitors, Nnamdi Emelifeonwu and Feargus MacDaeid (who is registered blind), Definely’s co-founders initially set out to improve the daily practice of reviewing and editing contracts for those with visual impairments, and in doing so, developed a solution that solves a pain point faced by all lawyers.

Emelifeonwu, who is CEO, said, “Legal technology is stepping out of nascency and becoming embedded in how the modern-day lawyer works. Definely not only speeds up the review and drafting process but importantly it allows a lawyer to be more accurate with their output because they never have to leave where they are and lose context when working on a document. We’re delighted to have M12 on board with our mission to make the reading, understanding and drafting of legal documents simple.”

Definely has been championed by leading technology network, Tech Nation who recognised the company as one of the 10 most exciting early stage scaleups in the UK as part of their 2021 Rising Stars competition. In June 2021 Google for Startups selected the start-up as one of 30 companies to receive its inaugural £2m European Black Founders Fund and this week Definely won the ‘Most Promising Mature Business’ award during KPMG’s Black Entrepreneurs’ Awards.

“Definely democratizes access to legal documents. What began as a tool for the differently abled now provides value to all lawyers, helping them to more rapidly and accurately draft and revise contracts,” said M12 Managing Director Matthew Goldstein. “Much of the contract updating process is still very manual, and slight changes can have hugely material impacts on the net effect of a document. Definely is helping leading law firms increase productivity while mitigating risk.”