Online legal services provider Rocket Lawyer has received a £161m funding boost to meet growing demand and scale up its cloud-based case management system.
Rocket Lawyer started in the US in 2008 and launched in the UK in 2012, since when it has also expanded to France, Spain and the Netherlands.
It says it has supported 25 million people and organisations in that time and, though unregulated itself, employs solicitors to provide advice in England and Wales.
The $223m capital financing was led by Vista Credit Partners, a strategic credit investor and financing partner focused on the enterprise software, data, and technology markets.
In a statement, they said they would collaborate to scale the Rocket Legal Cloud platform “to meet the strong and accelerating demand for the company’s natively digital tools of justice”.
Charley Moore, chief executive and founder of Rocket Lawyer, said: “Vista Credit Partners shares our commitment to bring justice within reach of everyone with a connected device.
“The pandemic amplified and accelerated demand for our cloud-based digital legal solutions, as we enabled millions of legal situations to be documented, and attorney advice and compliance to happen, without the need for physical presence.”
He added that the UK “remains essential to our global strategy”.
David Flannery, president of Vista Credit Partners, added: “The pandemic has hastened the transition of legacy systems to a more accessible digital future, especially in the legal sphere. We believe this climate gives Rocket Lawyer an incredible growth opportunity.”
We reported last year that Rocket Lawyer was importing its England and Wales model back to the US, becoming one of the first businesses approved by the Utah Supreme Court’s Office of Legal Services Innovation to take part in its regulatory sandbox.
This is a two-year experiment to test business models not otherwise allowed under the strict US rules that restricts the practice of law to lawyers.
Utah has blazed the trail in allowing non-traditional models akin to alternative business structures (ABSs).
Though Rocket Lawyer provides online legal documents, it has to be careful about what advice it can give customers as it is not a law firm; it does have a panel of external lawyers users can contact for a free initial 30-minute consultation, with discounted fees if they need more help.
Taking part in the Utah sandbox means the company can also employ lawyers directly, as it does here, and capture the legal work itself.
Arizona has since launched the first ABS regime in the US and Rocket Lawyer is planning to become one there.