London-based Legl, a B2B SaaS platform that aims to bring the legal industry into the digital-first world, has raised $7M (approx €5.86M) in its Series A round of funding.
The round was led by Octopus Ventures, with participation from existing investors Backed, Samaipata, and First Round Capital.
In addition, high-profile angels including Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (ex CPO and COO GoCardless), Al Giles (ex CRO of legal business Axiom), and Hayden Brown (CEO of Upwork), also participated in this round.
London-based Octopus Ventures, a part of the Octopus Group, is one of the leading VCs in Europe. It specialises in health, money, deep tech, and consumer. With £1.3B under management and investing over £100M (approx €116.8M) a year, it has backed the founding teams of more than 100 companies including Zoopla, Secret Escapes, graze.com, tails.com, Swiftkey, Elvie, Depop, Sofar Sounds, Big Health, Bought By Many, ByMiles, OLIO and Cazoo. Its typical investment is from £1M (approx €1.16M) for Seed to £10M (approx €11.68M) for Series B and we can continue to fund the companies we back right through to IPO.
“It’s rare to find a founder and team with such insider knowledge to tackle a big industry that has started to adopt technology quickly. Covid has accelerated the move to digital in the legal industry, and Julia and team, with deep expertise across legal, SaaS and fintech, are in prime position to win the market,” says Zoe Chambers, early stage investor at Octopus Ventures.
What does Legl do?
Legl aims to create a framework for law firms to do business and to give clients a better experience. It is a B2B SaaS platform that enables law firms to run their operations digitally – from streamlined onboarding, compliance, and payment tools to giving the management business insights.
The company was founded in October 2019 by former lawyer and legal tech entrepreneur Julia Salasky. The startup claims to be addressing the £35B (approx €40.86B) UK legal services market.
Although the startup was founded just over a year ago, the company is already working with over 100 law firms – including over a dozen of the top 200. “For the legal market, that is incredibly fast adoption, and we are growing very quickly month-on-month,” Julia Salasky tells Silicon Canals in an exclusive interview.
Talking about Legl’s business model, Salasky says, “We primarily charge based on usage, so we really align the value we’re generating for customers with our own revenue model.”
The Legl team currently has 27 employees, and after this round, the company is looking to increase its headcounts. They are currently hiring in product marketing, sales, and engineering positions.
Use of the funds
The raised capital will help the startup to hire new talents to enrich its product and customer base in the UK legal market, and to expand its services in the international market.
Speaking about the expansion in the Netherlands, Julia Salasky told SC that, “The opportunity for digitising and improving the way firms run their businesses is a global opportunity. On a personal level, I’ve lived in Den Haag, and at Legl we’re actually working with a really cool agency in Amsterdam on some marketing and brand stuff, so there’s a lot of personal and professional reasons we’d be excited by the NL!”
In an interview with SC, when asked about the initial challenges faced while setting up Legl, Salasky comments, “Our team has deep experience in the legal industry, so we avoided a lot of the pitfalls that I faced in founding my first company – CrowdJustice – because we really understood our market and the pain points from the get-go.”
Salasky has previously founded CrowdJustice, an award-winning platform for crowdfunding legal matters that have funded some of the UK’s highest-profile cases, prior to that she was a lawyer at Linklaters and the United Nations.
According to Salasky, “Most legal technology focuses on the practice of law. We’re focused on the operations of law – how do law firms, as unique, regulated businesses, run their business better and deliver a better client experience. We saw that there was a huge opportunity to improve client experience, onboarding, KYC, and payment in a streamlined, beautiful way that also delivers a lot of business insight to the firm. There’s a huge opportunity here to reduce the friction that happens for law firm clients and create a better business of law.”
How did the pandemic impact Legl?
“Covid has accelerated change in the legal industry, which has traditionally been slower to adopt technology, but where innovation and change are starting to gather real momentum. There’s a huge opportunity here to have a genuine impact in an industry where the ability for improvement is really tangible,” Salasky tells SC.
EDITOR’s NOTE: The AUM of Octopus Ventures was incorrectly mentioned as £1.3M, instead of £1.3B. The article has, therefore, been updated to reflect the same.