Global investment in legal tech to hit £1bn this year

Legal tech: Emphasis on contracts

Global investments in legal technology companies are nearing a record £1bn this year, with the £44m raised by London-based ContractPodAI the largest in the UK, a new analysis has revealed.

US lawyer and technology writer Bob Ambrogi said that after 2018 saw investment reach $1bn (£800m) for the first time, 2019 had already hit $1.2bn (£970m) last month.

This only included publicly reported investments and so did not take into account the size of alternative legal services provider Axiom’s investment last month from top private equity firm Permira, or a seven-figure investment led by Earlybird and Target Global into LexFox, which currently runs three consumer rights portals.

The year’s biggest deal so far was TCV and JMI Equity investing $250m in cloud legal technology company Clio, headquartered in Canada but a significant presence in the UK too.

In January, US company Onit, which specialises in enterprise legal management, secured $200m from K1 Investment Management.

Mr Ambrogi listed 41 deals done this year on his Lawsites website, including 11 involving UK companies. At least 12 of the companies were focused on some aspect of contracts and contracting, he noted, including four of the biggest six – Onit, Icertis, ContractPodAI and Fadada.

ContractPodAi, which provides AI-powered contract lifecycle management software, received $55m in Series B investment round in July led by Insight Partners, with participation from the company’s Series A backer, Eagle Proprietary Investments.

Founded in 2012, ContractPodAi now has customers on every continent, with offices in London, New York, San Francisco, Glasgow, and Mumbai.

It said the money would allow the company “to significantly scale-up its product development, sales, and customer success teams globally. This will help meet the growing demand for its AI-powered contract management platform within global corporations”.

The other big investments for UK companies included $42m (£34m) for email security platform Tessian – which has just opened an office in New York and recently signed up national law firms Hill Dickinson and DAC Beachcroft – and $20m (£16m) for Nivaura, a cloud-based service for the issue and administration of financial instruments.

Nivaura was the first member of Allen & Overy’s tech incubator Fuse back in September 2017, and fellow magic circle firm Linklaters is among the new investors.

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