Insight Venture Partners has taken an extraordinary $50m minority stake in Kira Systems, which plans to use the funds to accelerate its growth and consolidate its position within the burgeoning contract review market.
Kira, which despite being bootstrapped until now has in the past three years grown from 15 to 115 employees and counts a majority of the global top 30 law firms as customers, signed the deal with Insight Venture last week in order to exponentially accelerate its growth within the legal sector and beyond.
Peter Sobiloff, managing director of Insight, which is a leading New York City-based venture capital and private equity firm, will join the board in addition to Jonathan Rosenbaum, senior associate, who will act as a board observer.
In an interview with co-founder and CEO Noah Waisberg (out in full later this morning), Waisberg told Legal IT Insider: “Insight will become involved in our lives, which I’m more excited about than the money. They are a high-quality investor with experience of taking a company of our size- which at 115 people is already pretty big – and pushing them to the next level.”
Founded in 2011, Kira’s technology began gaining traction in 2013, and in 2016 it won as customers law firms including DLA Piper, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills. One area of progress is that Kira comes with soon to be over 500 out-of-the-box machine learning models: with Quick Study, Kira’s machine learning tool used by the likes of Clifford Chance and Freshfields, both technical and non-technical users can enhance Kira’s knowledge base, by teaching the software to recognise desired concepts by highlighting relevant examples. This allows for faster implementation times across use cases that include M&A due diligence, contract management database population, internal audits and lease abstraction.
“There is vast opportunity to improve contract review, enabling previously impossible levels of insight into the details of companies’ agreements,” said Waisberg. “We’re excited to raise a round that allows us to more swiftly execute on our long-term vision. We will continue to innovate our software and thrill our growing customer base. Insight, as a thought leader in scaling software companies, is a fantastic partner for us in this journey.”
“Kira Systems’ performance as a bootstrapped business has been impressive, and we’re eager to partner with them to more aggressively pursue growth,” said Sobiloff, adding: “We don’t see many pure-play AI businesses with their traction, and this success has come from the fact that Kira is fundamentally changing how contracts are reviewed. This represents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact across their core market segments.”
Kira will continue to expand in Toronto and abroad, where it already has an office of around 10 people in the UK and a large presence in New York. A key focus will be expansion in Continental Europe, where Kira already has a strong customer base in Germany, and Asia.