Definely raises $7m Series A as founders share their inspiring success story

Legal tech document drafting startup Definely has raised $7m Series A led by Octopus Ventures, in a major milestone for a company whose co-founders have both overcome personal challenges that form a big part of Definely’s genesis story.
Definely was started in 2020 by CEO Nnamdi Emelifeonwu and CSO Feargus MacDaeid, who met while they were working as lawyers at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. With this Series A Emelifeonwu has talked publicly about his own journey to becoming a lawyer, which started out with him fleeing political turbulence in Nigeria towards the end of the last century. Emelifeonwu’s mother moved to the UK to work in 1989 and he was brought up in Benin by his grandmother. However, he moved to the UK following the 1993 presidential elections, during which Moshood Abiola was assassinated. “There was rioting, and gunmen came into my primary school,” he recalls. 

Many years later, at Freshfields, Emelifeonwu met MacDaeid, who has the eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa and is classed as legally blind. MacDaeid says: “Before we built Definely, lawyers that needed to access information and understand contracts would use Ctrl+F keys, multiple windows, scroll through hundreds of pages, or simply print out documents so that they could reference all the information in one place. As someone who is visually impaired, you can imagine the challenge this represented for me. It sounds like an obvious problem, but you wouldn’t believe how many hours law firms can spend just looking for the right information.”

Definely was arguably born the day that Emelifeonwu asked MacDaeid, “Can anything be done to make your work life easier – surely there’s something out there?” Together, they set out to discover a way to increase the accessibility of legal documents to those with visual impairments and realised their innovation solved a pain point faced by all lawyers on a daily basis.

Now available via subscription and delivered as a Microsoft Word Plugin, Definely’s suite of productivity solutions assists lawyers at the pre-execution stage of the contract lifecycle, helping its customers draft, proof and understand legal documents quickly. It has over 60 employees located globally and now counts some of the largest legal organisations in the world among its clients, including Allen & Overy (now A&O Shearman), Slaughter and May, Dentons, Eversheds, DLA Piper, Deloitte, Ericsson  and Barclays. 
The company in 2023 made it into the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50, which ranks the fastest-growing technology companies in the UK, and you can see our write up of that here: https://legaltechnology.com/2023/11/17/definely-makes-it-into-the-deloitte-uk-technology-fast-50-2023/
The Series A announced today saw participation from Cornerstone VC and Zrosk Investment as well as well-known angels Claire Hughes Johnson, Comron SattariAjay Patel, and Babatunde Soyoye. 

Emelifeonwu said: “Definely is a testament to the power of diverse perspectives and accessibility first in innovation. So we built the simplest delivery possible for our tech, incorporating it via a Microsoft Word Plugin so that it integrates with every lawyer’s existing workflow and tooling. It was this in part, that allowed us to become such an entrenched provider of legal technology to some of the world’s largest law firms and corporations so quickly.”

caroline@legaltechnology.com

See also:

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