Legal chatbot pioneer receives $1m investment to pursue goal of making access to law free

Browder: Not doing this to make money

DoNotPay – the chatbot that aims to make access to the law free – has received $1.1m (£840,000) in backing from leading Silicon Valley investors, and even some lawyers.

DoNotPay is the brainchild of English-born student Josh Browder, who started the site as a teenager to fight his own parking tickets but has since expanded to many other legal issues.

He will be interviewed on stage at the Legal Futures Innovation Conference, being held in London on 21 November.

The seed fundraising round was led by leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has dozens of investments in many of the best-known names in the tech world.

Greylock Partners, another leading venture capital firm at which Mr Browder is already ‘entrepreneur in residence’, and lawyers from Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini also participated in the round.

Mr Browder, currently a student at Stanford University in the US, said the money would be used to tackle more complicated areas of the law. “Divorce, immigration, small claims, property tax and more corporate takedowns are on their way, and perhaps the last app that everyone downloads is the one that solves all of their problems for free.”

He continued: “I am not doing this to make any money whatsoever. As part of the funding (and all future financings), I will take a $1 salary until the law is free for everyone in America [and the UK].

“Of course, we are a long way from that goal, but I hope that DoNotPay will ultimately give everyone the same legal power as the richest in society.”

In July, Mr Browder announced that he was working on an ambitious plan to automate the divorce process with the assistance of a team of salaried paralegals, having also launched 1,000 legal chatbots covering simple legal forms in the US and the UK – including consumer and workplace rights matters ranging from maternity leave to landlord contract violations.

He has since launched a new service – dubbed the first automated law suit – to help those affected by the Equifax security breach bring small claims in the US, and said he planned to expand it to the UK.

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