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Legal spend start-up secures £7.5m investment

d’Adhemar: Huge opportunity

A legal tech start-up focused on transforming the way companies analyse their legal spend has raised £7.5m in its first major funding round.

Apperio’s backing is led by London-based venture capital firm Draper Esprit – whose investments include TrustPilot – and supported by existing investors Notion, IQ Capital and angels.

The London-based business, which was set up in 2013, allows in-house legal teams to track both billed and unbilled hours, in real-time, run analytics and monitor law firm performance.

The team has grown to 20 people, and revenues by more than 300% in the past 12 months.

Apperio is working with a range of FTSE 100 and private companies such as Just Eat and Network Rail, along with a host of leading law firms, such as Allen & Over, Freshfields, Linklaters and Dentons – the latter invested in an earlier seed funding round [1] two years ago.

The company’s founder, Nicholas d’Adhemar, said: “Companies typically spend between 1-2% of their annual turnover on legal fees but the ability to monitor spend and have access to fee data and analytics is at worst non-existent, at best manual.

“With only 13% of legal departments describing their spend management approach as ‘optimised’ and 25% of legal departments not using any legal technology at all, there is a huge opportunity to provide clarity to general counsel and gather accurate, real-time insights that enable better decision making and help reduce legal expenditure.”

Mr d’Adhemar was an associate at CMS Cameron McKenna (as was) before going in-house at Sterling Energy for a year. He left the law to become an investment manager before setting up Apperio.

Apperio is provided as a cloud application, requiring no administration or action from either the company or the law firm.

It has active data feeds providing live information for their corporate clients covering almost 80% of the UK legal market, eight of the top 10 US firms and growing coverage in the rest of the world.

It said the investment would be used to grow the company in all areas with a particular focus on promote international expansion.

As part of the investment, Richard Marsh from Draper Esprit will be joining the board. He said: “We are delighted to be leading the investment in Apperio at a time when the company is accelerating its growth and is showing strong market momentum…

“Apperio’s software is transformative in the way in which law firms and their corporate clients can interact.”

Kerry Baldwin, partner at Cambridge-based IQ Capital, added: “While the legal sector has historically been slow to adopt new technologies, Apperio is the only company offering customers a simple integration process and real-time visibility of both work-in-progress and budgets.”