30 June 2017

Investment in UK lawtech start-ups tops £16m

Investment into UK lawtech start-ups has reached £16 million and lawtech investment is set to grow to £25.7 billion per year as law firms look to harness the latest technology to increase efficiency, reduce costs or provide wider services.

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So says a report, Movers and Shakers: UK Lawtech Startups, from Thomson Reuters and Legal Geek, twhich racks and analyses fast-growing start-ups in the legal technology space across the UK, says that while the market is still at an embryonic stage, the value of investment in the sector shows encouraging levels of backing by venture capital firms, angel investors and players in the legal services market.

Investment examples

Examples of some of the larger investments in UK lawtech start-ups include a £2.1 million in venture capital funding for CheckRecipient, a cybersecurity tool which prevents emails being sent to the wrong recipient. It also cites £1.6 million in seed capital for CrowdJustice, a litigation crowdfunding platform and £800,000 in angel investment for ThoughtRiver, a machine learning/risk visualisation tool The report also highlighted the contrast to investment in UK fintech businesses which totalled £614 million in 2016, down from £941 million in 2015.

Lawtech prospects 'exciting'

‘The prospects for the lawtech start-up community are very exciting and lawyers are increasingly aware of the efficiencies these start-ups can bring to the market,” said Samantha Steer, director, Large and Medium Law Firms, at the Legal UK & Ireland business for Thomson Reuters. ‘The real challenge is to understand where the innovation is happening and just how disruptive these emerging start-ups might become. Our report with Legal Geek provides this insight and it’s a great starting point for anyone who wants to know the current state of play in UK lawtech.’

Visual map

The report features a visual map that plots the start-up scene based on the iconic London Underground map. First created in 2016, the map provides an overview of the latest start-ups and uses different ‘Tube’ lines to indicate the various categories or market segments that lawtech start-ups are targeting.

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