We speak to CEO Eleanor Weaver and commercial director Frederica Kitchen about Luminance’s seven figure win and new use cases, as the London-headquartered tech company eyes expansion
Luminance has signed its first-ever seven figure subscription deal with one of the largest global law firms with over 50 offices worldwide, following a year in which its revenue grew by 40%, we can reveal.
The firm has adopted Luminance’s machine learning technology to streamline the work of its both its corporate practice – augmenting the likes of M&A due diligence – and the insurance practice, where it is building a client product for insurance claim reviews.
The seven-figure win is a multi-year subscription deal, and we’re told that the firm, which is as yet unnamed, plans to roll out Luminance across multiple practice areas in the near future.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Frederica Kitchen, commercial director at Luminance, said: “They are using Luminance to build out a new product for their clients in the insurance practice group. It’s quite a unique use case but for all the reasons as to why Luminance is so flexible and scalable, they were able to deliver results during a two-week pilot and are now going to scale it across the business.”
The deal, which signed in January, is part of a wider growth story for Luminance, where CEO Eleanor Weaver took the helm 13 months ago. Weaver, who joined from global cybersecurity company Darktrace (both Darktrace and Luminance are backed by Invoke Capital), told Legal IT Insider: “Last year we grew our revenue by close to 40% and we’re growing exponentially. We’ve just signed our first seven-figure deal and there are more deals to come. We grew our deal base by 300% last year; it’s really exciting to see.”
Those figures are accompanied by some senior hires: Jill Klein, a former venture capitalist and director at Darktrace, joined just over a year ago as head of US Sales, and Daniel Lumby, former vice president at Macquarie Group, joined as head of operations in January this year.
Having started out as a due diligence contract tool, Luminance has over the past couple of years broadened out its offering to include contract drafting, templating and eDiscovery. Its eDiscovery offering grew by 200% last year and it has become the first known AI platform to be used in the Old Bailey, in the ongoing murder trial of James Watson.
Weaver said: “We’ve always been a technology where computers meet contracts. We approached the market and law firms specifically to approve and validate our approach, but we’ve expanded out from due diligence. Our AI is the first that has the ability to look at the end-to-end contract cycle and put automation around that, so whether that is contract drafting, whether that’s contract templating, or whether that’s negotiating. Our AI is also one of the first to negotiate an incoming contract on behalf of a human essentially and say, ‘these are the only parts you need to look into, everything else is fine.’ It’s because of our fundamental AI that we have the ability to do this, regardless of what application it is.”
Luminance isn’t trying to compete in the contract lifecycle management space, and Weaver says that their technology often runs alongside a corporate’s CLM system. Instead, their growing list of prestigious corporate clients are attracted by their ‘first pass review’ software, which provides lawyers with a ‘red, amber, green’ assessment of a contract, indicating at a glance what is agreed and not agreed. Weaver says: “It means a lawyer doesn’t need to go through a whole contract; you can divert your attention only to those parts that are contentious.”
‘Out of the box AI’ is often, quite fairly, greeted with scepticism, but Kitchen says: “At the moment we offer organisations a free three-week proof of value and within a couple of days they are understanding how to use the platform and getting immediate results. A NDA comes to the lawyer within two days and because we’ve trained the AI to do an automatic first pass review of certain contract types, they are already seeing that risk analysis: that red, amber or green areas of the contract on day two, and many are not having to see out the full three weeks before they are onboarding as a customer.”
The legal sector is plagued by a lack of standardisation and lack of shared data that often holds back AI technology, however, Weaver says: “We have a lab in Cambridge and a lot of people feeding it that data around what a NDA or purchasing agreement looks like, and we have analysts building those models so that, out of the box, there is a core understanding of what an acceptable NDA looks like.
“As an organisation you can enrich that with your own template and the AI will cross reference those models. Every organisation is bespoke, but the advantage of Luminance is that we have a mix of supervised and unsupervised AI, so it gets smarter over time.”
While legal departments have been Luminance’s focus to date, and its clients now include the likes of UK supermarket Tesco and global chocolate brand Ferrero, Weaver says: “We can potentially work with any company in any vertical, in any location. Where that might go is really exciting for us. At the moment we’re focusing on the legal department and making sure knowledge is kept in the business. But there are so many different applications we can turn to, whether it be finance or HR or procurement or RFPs – having that one stop platform underpinned by AI means you can understand the contracts and read them, provide efficiencies and automate those processes.”