A solicitor who shot to prominence on The Apprentice has secured a further £344,000 investment in the app she has developed to help law firms communicate more effectively with clients.
The funding for Lauren Riley’s The Link App comes from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia Fund Managers and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, as well as existing and new angel investors.
This funding round brings the total invested into the business to over £500,000. One of the investors is chairman Sir Nigel Knowles, the former global co-chair of DLA Piper and now chair of DWF.
The Link App – which was the business she was trying to get Lord Sugar’s investment for back in 2014 – provides a secure and paperless way for firms to communicate with clients via an app or web portal.
Lawyers can send updates and forms directly to the client’s smartphone, while the client can fill them in and submit signatures instantly using the app.
Ms Riley said the investment would allow her to expand the team and add further features to the system, including the ability to provide clients with milestones to monitor the progress of their case and upload documents, including their ID, directly from their mobile phone.
“The backing of Mercia and other experienced investors is key recognition of our progress to date,” she said.
Will Clark, fund principal at Mercia Fund Managers, added: “Lauren has found a way to apply emerging communications technology to the legal sector to improve the information flow with its clients. The Link App has been commended by professionals at the highest level in the industry.
“This funding will allow her to further develop the product and establish a firm foothold in the fast-growing legal technology market.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
The Link App was one of five finalists for the KPMG Best British Mobile Startup award this year.
We reported last year  that Ms Riley was trying to raise £300,000 for the company through crowdfunding. Though it hit the target, part it was from an individual who eventually did not meet the deadline to stump up the case, meaning that the whole fund-raise failed.