“Still scratching the surface”: Luminance CEO Emily Foges reveals plans for growth following latest $10m round of funding
Legal AI platform Luminance has raised a $10m second round of funding from existing investors including Invoke Capital, Talis Capital and Slaughter & May. The latest financing values the business at $100m.
“Where we need the additional bandwidth is having people all over the world who can work with our clients and help them understand how to get the best out of the technology, “Luminance CEO Emily Foges told Legal IT Insider. “And then back in Cambridge, where the development team sits, we are really building the expertise in machine learning that has been behind our success so far. Those are the two places where we will be deploying this capital.”
Launched in 2016 by a group of mathematicians and software engineers from the University of Cambridge, Luminance machine learning technology is already deployed in over 130 organisations on six continents. The company has recently expanded from offering a single due diligence product for M&A to include products focused on compliance, litigation discovery and real estate. Luminance has raised $23m in total since inception.
“In 2018, a lot of law firms were in experimentation mode – they were exploring whether AI was a threat or an opportunity and just how they could use this technology,” Foges says. “Now they get it. And I think this year will be about those firm going big with AI. For us at Luminance that means supporting them and ensuring the technology is as fast as possible, as intuitive as possible and that it works as well as it possibly can.”
Foges added that new launches are also on the cards. “We will continue to look at other ways in which lawyers operate, to develop new versions of our products,” she said. “The legal industry hasn’t changed this much in hundreds of years. Now there is an acceptance that you can be the best lawyer in the world, but you still need to use technology in order to offer the best advice. We are still only scratching the surface of what Luminance can do.”
Luminance recently opened a fifth office in New York as it continues to expand internationally, adding to bases in London, Cambridge, Chicago and Singapore. In 2018 alone, Luminance’s customer base increased by over 150 per cent whilst employee numbers more than doubled to meet the demand. Clients include global top 100 firms such as McDermott Will & Emery and Holland & Knight.
Both Talis Capital and Invoke were founded by tech entrepreneurs. In addition to Luminance, Talis portfolio companies include Darktrace, Pirate Studios and Onfido. Invoke was founded by former Autonomy chief executive Mike Lynch, who was charged with fraud in connection with Hewlett Packard’s 2011 acquisition of the business, charges he has denied. Lynch has since stepped down from the boards of other companies Invoke has backed but remains on Luminance’s board.