Law Made is to raise a US$20m early stage startup investment fund as its founders add ‘venture capital’ to the portfolio of services they offer new and emerging legal businesses.
The Toronto-headquartered legal innovation pop-up, set up by ‘chief legal provocateur’ Jason Moyse and ‘chief innovation operative’ Aron Solomon, co-founders of MaRS Discovery District’s LegalX Cluster, first publicly announced the intention to raise the fund at yesterday’s (18 October) Legal Geek startup conference in London.
The fund will be by invitation only and Law Made is looking for significant commitment rather than small tranches. Solomon, a serial entrepreneur who has launched numerous startups, from an education pop-up to a global education design studio, said: “We’re not just looking for legal investors but people who understand disruption and that the legal sector is ripe for change.
“A lot of funds and institutions have a story to tell about legal bills,” he added.
In their work with startups the Law Made team has already unofficially made numerous introductions to investors and the $20m fund is a way of developing and formalising that role.
Law Made will act as the fund’s general partner, leading its investment activity, including selecting the startups it works with.
In contrast with a number of funds in the startup space that scattergun invest in the hope that some of their investment comes to fruition, Moyse, a former lawyer who is manager for legal business solutions at Elevate Services and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, said: “We will be an active and an activist investor and join the board of the startup we invest in. I will give product advice and work closely with the founders.”
Moyse and Solomon in June 2015 co-founded LegalX, which brings together technologists, designers, coders, engineers and lawyers to pursue innovation through new legal platforms and processes, artificial intelligence tools and transactional apps.
The pair won the prestigious Fastcase 50 in 2015, which highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services.