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28 April 2021

Clio becomes legaltech unicorn as latest funding round pushes valuation to $1.6bn

Series E round will help fund acquisitions and create new jobs in the UK and Ireland

By Ben Edwards

Clio is based in Vancouver, Birtish Columbia Shutterstock

Canadian cloud-based legaltech provider Clio has secured an additional $110m round of funding from investors, valuing the company at $1.6bn – making it the world’s first legal practice management unicorn.

The Series E round – led by investors including T. Rowe Price and OMERS Growth Equity – will allow the company to further invest in its platform, strategic acquisitions and partnerships. The funds will also be used to increase its UK and Ireland-based workforce by 40% this year, with a focus on its product and engineering teams.

Jack Newton, CEO and founder of Clio, said: “This investment is indicative of the explosive demand for legal technology that empowers lawyers to be cloud-based and client-centred. The support from T. Rowe Price funds and accounts and OMERS Growth Equity will enable us to continue to create a more equitable and accessible legal system by making it easier for clients and law firms to work together through cloud-based technologies.”

The shift to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic has amplified the need for law firms and in-house legal teams to accelerate their digital transformation programmes to embrace cloud-based technologies. To date, global legaltech businesses have secured $6.6bn in funding, Clio said.

Andrew Davis, director of private investments at T. Rowe Price, said: “Clio has significant growth opportunities given the company's innovative product offerings and leading market position in the legaltech space. We look forward to collaborating with the team and working to accelerate the company's efforts to improve technology offerings to the legal industry.”

Other legaltech companies that global investors have been pumping money into recently include CMS and Cooley-backed legal platform Lupl, which secured $14m of funding in January. In December, AI-powered legal spend and matter management tech outfit Brightflag raised $28m from investors to expand its international footprint and further develop its technology. And Reynen Court – which has created an app store for legaltech – also raised $4.5m of funding last October to accelerate its growth plans. Earlier this month it unveiled a new full-service version of its app store platform, enabling firms to access third-party legaltech apps without having to provide their own infrastructure to host and manage the technology themselves.

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