A&O names the tech companies it is to incubate

Ajitsaria: natural synergies

City giant Allen & Overy has named the seven companies which will work in Fuse, its new lawtech incubator, including a well-known artificial intelligence business and a charity working on a platform to assist asylum seekers in gaining access to pro bono advice.

Fuse is aimed at early-stage and more mature tech companies, which will work in a specially-designed area for 60 individuals housed within Allen & Overy’s offices. More than 80 applied.

The first company invited by Allen & Overy to join Fuse was Nivaura, which is developing an automated and vertically integrated cloud-based service for the issue and administration of financial instruments by small and medium-sized issuers.

As “entrepreneurs-in-residence”, Nivaura’s team members will help to guide the tech companies selected to work in the space by sharing advice and business experiences whilst continuing to develop their own business.

It will work with these seven business:

  • Avvoka – a digital platform incorporating a contract creation, workflow and analytics tool.
  • Corlytics – a business providing regulatory risk intelligence, using forensic analysis and forecasting of fines and sentencing globally.
  • iManage – previously known as RAVN, a business developing natural language processing and machine learning technology to organise, discover and summarise documents.
  • Ithaca – a charitable enterprise aiming to create a mobile-responsive online platform to assist asylum seekers in gaining access to pro bono legal representation and advice.
  • Legatics – a company that turns ‘paper and email’ based legal processes into simple and innovative software.
  • Opus 2 International – originally a developer of litigation and transcript management software, now developing a tool to support lawyers with the prospectus verification process.
  • Vable – a provider of content aggregation, automation and intelligence software.

They were chosen after a pitch day last month to a panel which included Oli Harris, head of fintech at JP Morgan, Robert Kerrigan – a former A&O associate who is now legal counsel at Funding Circle – Amazon corporate counsel Alex Wong and Sam Myers, an early stage investor at Balderton Capital.

Shruti Ajitsaria, head of Fuse, said: “This is an impressive roster of companies, which span a variety of technologies and departments. We chose the successful applicants based on whom we feel we have natural synergies with.

“We’re now preparing for Fuse to open so that we can begin to explore, test and develop the solutions that these companies offer.”

The original group of applicants came from a variety of enterprises, including workflows (26%); intelligent document businesses (23%), platforms (22%) and ‘regtech’ (19%).

In terms of development stage, just under half of the applicants (46%) have existing users, while 40% are at the prototype phase and 14% are still at concept stage.

Just over half of applicants (55%) said the primary type of assistance sought through the Fuse programme related to business development or marketing, followed by product development (46%) and testing (26%).

Fuse targets legaltech, regtech (supporting businesses in complying with law and regulation) and dealtech.

The firm describes it as “an integral part of Allen & Overy’s advanced delivery capability and complements the legal practice’s profile in the fintech arena”.

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