Automated contract markup technology provider BlackBoiler today (14 October) announces it has secured $3.2 million in Series A funding from a series of strategic investors including agreement cloud company DocuSign, which is a material investor. The post-revenue, pre-profit company plans to use the funds to further develop the capabilities of its patented software and accelerate team growth. It has already hired Gabriela Millard as marketing manager and Liam Emmart as software engineer.

BlackBoiler learns from your historically negotiated contracts and your company standard and marks up inbound contracts instantaneously in track changes. One fairly recent change in functionality means it can automatically swap in non-generic details such as the party name.

The Virginia-headquartered company says it addresses a global, $35 billion market in which companies spend $26 billion reviewing and negotiating semantically similar contracts, $7 billion of which is verbatim work.  It claims to deliver up to a 70% reduction in review time compared to in-person review.

Speaking to Legal IT Insider editor Caroline Hill, BlackBoiler co-founder Dan Broderick said: “We measure how long people are in our documents when they use the tool and in a POC just last week we got a 70% time saving.” He adds: “We did one yesterday where two thirds of the final edits were suggested by BlackBoiler.”

Broderick suggests that people think of BlackBoiler in the same way they think of spellcheck, rejecting unwanted suggestions and moving on. He said: “Sometimes spell check suggests things and you think ‘why would you suggest that?’ It’s the machine plus human that gives you the best results.”

While in the immediate aftermath of COVID-19 there was a slow down, Broderick says that the impact has been anyone who wasn’t a serious purchaser was removed from their pipeline and says: “That was very helpful and we have a strong funnel of people who are interested in purchasing.”

“Today’s investment in BlackBoiler underscores the role its automated contract markup technology plays in the negotiation process—as well as its history of innovation and customer value,” said Howard Goldstein, a member of BlackBoiler’s board of directors and seasoned venture capitalist as Co-Founder of Vedanta Capital and Managing Partner of Cortlandt Private Capital.

BlackBoiler’s says its client roster includes as yet undisclosed AmLaw 25 law firms and several organizations within the Fortune 1000, including TE Connectivity, a $14 billion technology manufacturer.

“BlackBoiler’s AI platform provides our law department with a dynamic productivity tool driving efficiency and increased speed in contract review and execution,” said Jim Michalowicz, Head of Legal Operations Business Performance at TE Connectivity. “The BlackBoiler tool also provides a significantly greater level of accuracy by the re-use of knowledge, standard clause banks, and contract templates.”

In 2017, BlackBoiler received a $225,000 SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation. The company holds six patents in the U.S. and is currently pursuing additional IP protection in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.