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Legal and tax tech funding 2016 to date: 2021 hits a new high

Legal and tax technology companies have so far this year raised almost as much capital on the private equity markets as they did in the previous two years combined, according to data shared exclusively with Legal IT Insider by legal data analytics company Legalcomplex.com.

As of August 11, 2021, $4.16bn was raised across 178 deals, compared with a total of $4.29bn raised in 2019 and 2020.

Interestingly, as of 31 July this year, there is a new number one when it comes to the largest single round ever raised. LegalZoom lost the spot that it has held for the last three years to Insight Software, which raised a single round of CA$1bn (the table below is in US dollars.) Guess which private equity backer was behind that enormous sum? Hg – which is the majority investor in Litera.

While we challenged the fact that Insight Software is a ‘legal tech’ company, Legalcomplex.com’s founder Raymond Blijd, who was previously at Wolters Kluwer, points out that Insight Software is used by tax professionals for financial forecasting. “The companies included were selected based on technology supporting traditional legal and tax professionals as well the legal contract management and e-signatures companies. Except for tax technology, we excluded the expanded regulatory and governance industry,” Blijd says.

What is also of note about this top 10, is that there are three new entrants from Asia. Patent licensing company Patsnap, which hails from Singapore, in March 2021 raised US$351.6m. The other two Asian companies are both from China and both provide eSignature technology. Esign.cn raised US$150m and Fadada.com raised US$203.

Caroline.hill@legalitlexicon.com