Startup Corner: AI business development team Kula

Kula describes itself the world’s first AI business development associate for law firms, letting attorneys reach the right new clients automatically. Founded in London in 2021, Kula has been backed by Y Combinator, Entrepreneur First, and otherworld-leading investors. Today, Kula works with 100 law firms on 5 continents.

How would you describe your company to a friend?

Kula is an AI business development team for law firms. Kula introduces lawyers to their perfect clients automatically, letting lawyers focus on closing business and practicing law.

And if you had to describe it to a techy?

Kula is an AI business development team for law firms built by refining large language models with human feedback and scraping unique legal data from public sources.

When were you founded?

Kula was founded on Entrepreneur First’s 16th London cohort in 2021.

By who?

Kula was founded by Nelson Jones and Saaras Mehan. Nelson studied law at Oxford and founded his first business during his 3rd year at university. He went on to work at Luminance, before joining Entrepreneur First. Saaras is a machine learning scientist, having studied under Rob Mullins at Cambridge. He patented his first machine learning algorithm at the age of 19 during an internship at AutoDesk research.

Who are your key managers/senior execs?

Kula’s senior team includes former startup founders and computer scientists. Our lead engineer, Bilsay Yildirim, is the former Founder/CEO of (A city guide automation), and scaled WhoScored to 4 million monthly users as CTO.

What is your growth strategy?

We are fortunate to have happy customers and a fantastic product which make up the core of our growth strategy. 33% of our new customers are referred by existing customers and we use our own product to generate new leads.

Have you received investment?

Have received investment from Y Combinator, Entrepreneur First, Acequia Capital (a VC fund founded by former Microsoft Executives) and world-leading angel investors who were early investors in companies including Ironclad and Stripe.

Who are your target clients?

Our target clients are partners or owners of law firms who want to grow and serve businesses in any of these 3 groups:

SMEs, investors, and venture-backed companies. Currently our product is optimised for these law firms because we use data from corporate records such as the SEC EDGAR and Companies House Online.

Have there been any key changes in direction since you were founded?

We started off  by building a marketplace for legal services. This approach generated low quality clients for lawyers, and a race to the bottom on fees by virtue of multiple lawyers bidding for the same work. We pivoted to an AI business development teamand discovered that, with this approach, lawyers could win their ideal high value clients.

What are the key challenges you face in your market?

Lawyers are familiar with the idea of using AI to optimise their work (although few have done so). Kula is the first company to apply AI to legal business development and as a result we have had to educate the market. However, our customers agree that business development is the first application AI to law. Lawyers are not incentivised to speed up their work because of the hourly rate, but they are incentivised to win great new clients. Business development is also less aggressively regulated than the practice of law.

What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in your market in the past year for the past year to 18 months?

The launch of ChatGPT has generated a lot of hype for our space which is really exciting.

Tell us something that people don’t already know about the company?

An exciting fact that people may not be aware of is that we just hit our 100 customer milestone.

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