UK-based startup Orbital Witness has closed a £3.3m seed funding round led by LocalGlobe and Outward VC with participation from previous investors, including Seedcamp and JLL Spark. With its new investment, Orbital Witness aims to create a universal risk rating for property and land similar to a credit check to provide a high-level view of property risk to all parties.

Launched in 2018, Orbital Witness helps lawyers to more easily identify risks in property transactions via its platform, through which you can access and organise property information from HM Land Registry and local authorities and facilitate document review.

Among its clients are four of the five Magic Circle law firms and in-house legal teams from M&S and TfL. Orbital Witness was founded by CEO Edmond Boulle and COO Will Pearce in 2017, who previously worked in the space sector but crystalised their vision for Orbital Witness during a stint at Mishcon de Reya’s legal startup incubator MDR Labs. Today, Orbital Witness employs fifteen people based in London.

Pearce said: “We’ve built a system for clients to access documents from numerous important sources and provide an easy way to provide risk assessment and insights quickly. Now, we’re using that expertise and technology to reimagine property and land risk for today, to make transacting real estate less time-consuming, arduous and inefficient.”

The new risk rating is described as being similar to a credit check to provide a high-level view of property risk to all parties. Using machine learning technology and reinforcement learning techniques, Orbital Witness has developed a sophisticated understanding of real estate and property risk that it is now applying across commercial real estate properties in the UK.

Boulle added: “Orbital Witness imagines a world where real estate and property issues are no longer hidden behind mounds of deeds and documents. Our goal is to simplify the complexities of the current process and bring greater transparency to the world’s largest asset class. With this new funding, we’re able to accelerate towards our vision of a universal risk rating, similar to a credit check, that provides an early warning system for property professionals.”

Orbital Witness is now recruiting for its next stage of growth. The company aims to double the team in the next year across product, technology, data science, customer success and marketing to continue its growth and establish new product categories.

This investment round brings Orbital Witness’ total investment to £4.5m.

LocalGlobe is a London-based venture capital firm focused on seed investments, primarily in the UK. It has backed companies including Transferwise, Zoopla, Improbable, Citymapper, Algolia and Robinhood. Outward VC invests in early stage fintech companies that focus on large global market opportunities. Backed by Investec Bank, NIBC and other international investors, Outward VC’s investments include fast growing UK companies such as Bud, Curve, Monese and PrimaryBid.
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Orbital Witness secures £1.2m funding & raft of BigLaw clients including Clifford Chance