Today, legal tech company LawAdvisor Ventures announced it has secured a $5 million seed investment from a host of individual investors, including former Orrick CEO and chairman Ralph Baxter. Other investors include Gildead Science’s head of legal ops Gary Tuly, Microsoft general manger and associate GC Jason Barnwell, and founder of Google Maps and former Facebook engineer director Lars Rasmussen, among others.
LawAdvisor was founded during the height of the COVID-19- pandemic, launching its first two products—collaboration and outside counsel management platform Legaleye and no-code matter and project management tool Fibonacci—in January 2021. Both offerings were developed with input from a steering group of initial legal users, including financial services giant Barclays and a number of its law firms, such as Allen & Overy, Paul Hastings, Ashurst, Bird & Bird and Simmons & Simmons, among others.
LawAdvisor founder and CEO Brennan Ong noted the company will leverage its seed investment to scale its workforce, specifically its product, design and engineering and client services teams, the latter of which Ong called “super key to our growth.” He also added that the company will also “continue further developing two tools” that the company launched last year.
Ong believes that LawAdvisor’s approach to development differs from other legal tech providers who focus primarily on point solutions. By comparison, LawAdvisor, he said, looks to first solve client needs in a more holistic way.
“We really started from scratch, we started with first principles thinking alongside the input from our steering group, we truly analyzed and evaluated all the problems associated with the status quo and that our clients are experiencing,” he explained. “And rather than building product-based solutions, we actually built out capabilities. So for example, we build up management capabilities, rather than a document management product that other point solutions typically offer.”
At the heart of this effort is the input from LawAdvisor’s steering group, which Ong noted is “going to play a continued important role in the evolution of our products.”
Such a focus is one of the reasons the company proved an attractive investment to former Orrick leader Baxter. He explained LawAdvisor is “in a position to make a real difference. And the reason for that … is everything that we do is designed with the user in mind, both the needs of the clients and the needs of the lawyers but also how they work and how the technology can be accessible to them, how it can be user friendly, intuitive, [and] how it can work for them [and] be configured for them.”
LawAdvisor is already expanding its steering committee with the addition of a host of new professionals. “We’ve got legal project management managers, optimization specialists, legal technologists and of course, legal operations professionals now joining us,” Ong said.
What’s more, the individual investors behind the seed funding round will also form an advisory panel to further help LawAdvisor develop its offerings. “I’ll be an adviser in those circumstances where what I have learned at running a law firm and now these years in legal technology and elsewhere … can be helpful in product development, in communicating with corporate legal departments and law firms,” Baxter said.
In addition, Baxter said he also will “help with some of the personnel choices” in an advisory role, especially as LawAdvisor looks to hire experts with a deep familiarity with the legal market.
“We will scale entirely with people who understand law,” he added. “The way legal service is delivered now, the way it can be delivered and understanding technology, especially the way technology can enable modernization of legal service, is critical.”