11 Aug 2021

New Zealand in-house law tech platform LawVu picks up $12m to accelerate US expansion

Tauranga-based ‘legal workspace’ provider targets US hires as investor cites appetite for Aussie and Kiwi startups

Tauranga, New Zealand. Panoramic view from Mount Maunganui of the white sand beach and City.

Tauranga By Birdiegal; Shutterstock

Legal technology startup LawVu has raised $12m in a Series A funding round led by New York-based private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners to accelerate its uptake by in-house legal teams. 

The fresh round arrives on the heels of a hot year for the Tauranga, New Zealand-based company, which reports having tripled its annual recurring revenue in 2020, with more than two-thirds of this sum coming from the US and Australian markets.

LawVu plans to use the new cash injection to hire ‘key leadership roles’ in the US to accelerate the development of its platform for corporate in-house legal teams.

The startup carved its place in the crowded legaltech arena by creating a solution specifically targeting in-house legal teams, which tend to be relatively underserved when it comes to advanced tech-based business solutions. 

LawVu’s cloud-based platform sets out to resolve traditional in-house legal team tech challenges, including disjointed ‘point solutions’ or digital products that only solve very niche problems. It promises to streamline operations and provide a ‘legal workspace’ that brings all the tech tools an in-house legal team needs into a ‘unified experience’. 

The product also improves the experience of those in the C-suite by ‘providing new engagement and visibility into the work the in-house legal team is doing’, the company added in a statement. 

Sam Kidd, co-founder and CEO of LawVu, said: "In-house legal teams perform a critical function inside every corporation. However, you'll often find that the only 'tech' they have is email and word documents, and legal teams are becoming a bottleneck, as the rest of the business leverages technology to speed up. It's incredibly exciting to be pioneering a new category and extending our leadership in this space."

LawVu’s recent strong push beyond its native New Zealand market has led it to serve users in more than 30 countries and sign big-name deals with Telstra, AMP, Linktree, Expedia, PwC and most recently San Francisco-based tech company Instacart. 

James Cameron, partner of AirTree Ventures, an Australian venture capital firm that assisted on the funding round and previously invested with LawVu earlier this year, added: ‘There is a huge push across the in-house legal industry to become more digital and efficient, and LawVu is considered the leader in this space amongst many of the most tech savvy in-house legal teams in the world. 

“As we've seen from other global leaders that have emerged from our region such as Canva and Linktree – there's huge demand from global investors to invest in fast-growing Aussie and Kiwi tech businesses and this is a testament to the emerging technology ecosystems that are developing here."

Some other deals so far this year include Canadian cloud-based legaltech provider Clio, which became the world’s first legal practice management unicorn after securing $110m from a Series E funding round back in April.

Elsewhere, Washington DC-headquartered legaltech platform Lupl raised $14m a few months ahead of its formal launch, bringing the amount of overall cash raised to $25m. The company’s open industry platform for legal matters, which went live in April, was developed with support from CMS, Cooley and Rajah & Tann Asia alongside an advisory board of 16 in-house lawyers. 

 

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