Outside counsel selection: Hence raises $1.8m in seed funding

Outside counsel selection startup Hence Technologies has raised $1.8m in seed funding, which it says will help it to expand its legal services relationship management software following two successful pilots with global multinational law firms.   

The Hence engine uses data and AI to help companies find the right lawyer, for the right matter. It aims to revolutionise the relationships that corporates have with their external lawyers by enabling in-house teams to search and select counsel based on firm, person, matter, location, and expertise. 

The new funding brings the total raised by Hence to over $2.6m and, following pilots with a number of large multinational corporations, the UK and Kigali-based company is now bringing the platform to market. 

The high-profile angel investors and institutions involved in the round include Daglar Cizmeci and Daybreak Partners, as well as a number of other angel investors.  

Hence was founded by Steve Heitkamp, Sean West and Arun Shanmuganathan. Heitkamp worked for years in data science at data analytics giant Palantir. West has extensive experience advising the CEOs of some of the largest companies in the world on risk, while Shanmuganathan is a mathematician and previously worked in the computer science faculty at the African Leadership University.   

West said: “Even the most innovative companies buy knowledge services like legal the same way they did 100 years ago – through referrals and gut instinct. Hence empowers Chief Legal Officers, General Counsels and their teams with the data and analysis they need to evaluate and make the right decisions for their organisations across hundreds of millions of dollars in spend. The platform helps companies to draw insights from their own data for their own purposes, meaning that the person buying legal services will get an unbiased view and will also be able to better manage performance with trusted advisers.” 

Matthew Ruesch, co-founder of investors Broad Creek Capital added: “As a former lawyer and current private equity investor, I know how slowly the legal industry has been leveraging data and technology to improve efficiency. Especially relative to other sectors. The opportunity to invest in a disruptive solution to performance optimization in the legal industry at such an early stage is incredibly exciting.”