Elevate has secured a $25m minority investment from Los Angeles-based private equity firm Kayne Partners, in order to scale operations and enhance its Cael enterprise legal management software. “Kayne takes us to $60m of capital invested in Elevate,” Elevate president John Croft told Legal IT Insider. “This is a vote of confidence from mature investors – not just in Elevate, but in the law company market as a whole.”
“The money will support Elevate’s future growth plans, continuing the momentum generated by our recent acquisitions,” Croft added. “We also added operations in Poland last year as part of our organic growth. Our growth rate has been around 65 per cent per year for the last five years.”
Elevate has completed five bolt-ons since the middle of 2018 including AI specialist LexPredict; contract lifecycle management provider Sumati Group; UK NewLaw resourcing firm Halebury; law company Yerra Solutions and Hong Kong-based flexible legal resourcing business Cognatio Law.
The acquisitions were funded in part by a $25m financing from a credit fund managed by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, the growth-focused private investment platform within Morgan Stanley Investment Management, an Elevate client. According to Croft, the business is now considering the acquisition of a UK law firm. “But then we think we will have all the elements of a global law company covered and thereafter we see mainly organic growth as our path.”
Elevate now provides services to over one hundred Global 1000 corporations and over twenty global law firms. The company’s 2019 sales are forecasted to exceed $75m and it is planning to IPO in 2021. “As that year gets closer and closer, we remain focused on that outcome and we see this first slug of outside equity from Kayne as a key step in that direction.”
By Amy Carroll