As it makes a series of key hires and looks to expand into new product lines ROSS Intelligence has announced an $8.7 million Series A funding round led by iNovia Capital with participation by Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Real Ventures, Dentons’ NextLaw Labs and Apple’s deep learning lead, Nicolas Pinto.
This latest funding round, which closed in the past few months, adds to ROSS’s earlier $4.3m seed round which was also led by iNovia Capital, with participation from Y Combinator, Real Ventures, Denton’s NextLaw Labs, Hedgewood, ACE & Company, The Family, and LinkedIn’s former Director of Engineering, Diego Basch.
The funding comes as ROSS announces that it has hired enterprise sale executive Scott Sperling, WeWork’s former Head of Sales, as its Vice-President of Sales. Sperling will be leading the expansion of ROSS Intelligence’s sales efforts across the United States. Additionally, Daniel Rodriguez, outgoing Dean of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, will be joining the ROSS Intelligence team in an advisory capacity focusing on ROSS’ law school expansion and access to justice initiatives.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider at Legal Week’s Strategic Technology Forum in San Diego, Ross’s CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda said: “This investment allows us to bring in additional world class talent.
“We continue to expand into different practice areas: we’re already in US bankruptcy and intellectual property and very soon will be expanding into labour and employment law.”
Over the last year, ROSS has grown its staff located in San Francisco and New York and launched its AI R&D Headquarters in Toronto, Canada, the AI world capital and is looking to expand its offering into the Fortune 500. Arruda told us that while ROSS is already used by in-house teams, the launch of labour and employment capability is expected to accelerate that trend.
“In the coming months and years, we will be able to say that ROSS is used by in-house teams as much as by law firms,” he said.
“There is a changing dynamic that is seeing in-house teams getting larger as well as bringing on innovative forward-thinking talent.”
In terms of why ROSS is taking on and announcing its investment now, Arruda said: “We chose as a startup to talk about our partners first and not to list our funding first. Now people know how awesome our partners are its important to get this news out. We started this category of AI in law and we want to make sure we stay ahead of the game.”
Recently celebrating its second birthday, ROSS Intelligence was founded in 2015 by Arruda, Jimoh Ovbiagele and Pargles Dall’Oglio at the University of Toronto.
Its clients include law firms such as Latham & Watkins, Dentons, Shearman & Sterling, Sidley Austin, Bryan Cave, Carlton Fields, Sedgwick, Kobre & Kim, BakerHostetler, K&L Gates, Fennemore Craig and Womble Carlyle.
“As demonstrated by their technological success and commercial leadership in the legal space, ROSS Intelligence is clearly the market leader in the development of artificial intelligence applications for the law,” said Karam Nijjar, partner at iNovia Capital. “iNovia’s participation from the very earliest days of ROSS Intelligence, when the founders worked out of a basement of Toronto, Canada, has allowed us to help shape and guide the company as it’s grown from success to success. We’re thrilled to be leading this Series A financing round to provide the ROSS Intelligence team with the firepower to rapidly scale their technical and sales expertise while expanding into the Fortune 500 legal market and beyond.”
“As an investor in great category-leading companies, we pride ourselves in identifying the companies who will bring transformative change to their verticals. ROSS Intelligence is challenging the methods of the traditional legal industry with their transformational NLP and machine learning-fueled approach,” says Kai Bond, Principal of Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund. “We look forward to supporting this talented and experienced team deliver a product that creates efficiencies that the legal community has long craved as well as resources and analysis for an entire industry.”