Sydney-headquartered legal technology company Legaler has raised $1.5m in a round led by MasterNode Ventures, joined by Pacific Blue Capital and a number of prominent legal industry figures as it furthers its bid to use Blockchain to open up access to justice.
Legaler combines proprietary blockchain and tools to enable developers to build their own secure and scalable decentralised applications (dApps). Legaler says its ambitious goal is to bring the $1 trillion global legal industry online, eradicating the need for expensive intermediaries. The company hopes to further reduce the barriers to legal services by funding dApps that leverage Legaler’s blockchain and developer tools to provide greater access to justice.
dApp will match disadvantaged clients with pro bono legal advice, powered by a tokenised incentive system, along with a platform for crowdfunding social justice cases through transparent, tax-deductible donations.
Legaler CEO and Co-founder, Stevie Ghiassi, says it’s one of the greatest challenges facing society. “In developed countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and even Australia, 80% of people encountering a legal issue are unable to get help due to the prohibitive costs and arcane complexity of the system. There needs to be a fundamental shift and blockchain technology will provide just that.”
Legaler previously launched an online meeting tool in 2017 to help lawyers and clients collaborate easily and securely, which has been adopted in over 1000 firms across 80 countries, giving the company a distinct advantage over most blockchain projects by having an existing team and global user base.
In April Ghiassi founded ‘Blockchain for Law’: a new private network of verified lawyers from around the world dedicated to exploring the intersection of blockchain and the law.
“Existing public blockchains have several limitations which limit privacy and transaction throughput which have prompted us to explore new consensus algorithms and sidechains for speed and cost savings, as well as zero knowledge proof technology to meet the confidentiality requirements of the legal industry,” says Ghiassi.
The recent injection of funds will help Legaler mature its technology. “It’s an exciting time to be in the legal industry” says Ghiassi, also president of the Australian Legal Technology Association, adding: “The convergence of AI, blockchain and automation will bring radical change to a profession that has traditionally lagged behind other service industries”.