US Legal AI Co. LegalSifter Bags $1.86 Million VC Funding

Pittsburgh-based legal AI company LegalSifter has secured $1.86 million in funding from venture capital fund Birchmere Ventures and several high-net-worth individuals.

The move underlines the reality that although a group of very well-known legal AI companies have taken a significant number of clients in the doc review market to date, there is still investor and client interest in a growing number of providers.

The US legal market alone is estimated to be worth around $440 billion a year. While it’s fair to say AI driven doc review could only ever amount to a fraction of this total, that still suggests the long term potential market size, just in the US for NLP-powered doc review spending, is in the billions of dollars. And we are a very, very long way yet from reaching that point.

In which case, it is understandable that investors are still focusing on this area and also on a wide range of companies developing AI doc review solutions. It’s arguable that even if a handful of legal AI companies secured most of the Top 50 global law firms and Fortune 500 companies as clients, the remaining potential market is still massive in the longer term.

CEO, Kevin Miller told Artificial Lawyer: ‘This funding is a validation of our strategy and the effectiveness of LegalSifter for companies and law firms alike.’

Miller added that so far ‘we have had an incredible response from the market’ as the company grows and adds new clients.

The legal AI doc review company first launched out of a Carnegie Mellon University programme and has been venture-backed since June 2013. It also received $2.3m in seed funding in 2016. Also in 2016 they launched ContractSifter, which is an NLP/machine learning doc review system, and then, just this summer the new Legal Sifter AI-driven contract negotiation product was launched.

The company added that LegalSifter addresses three pervasive problems in contract negotiations: (1) negotiating on other party’s paper is hard, (2) people waste a lot of time waiting for other team members to review a contract draft, and (3) law firms are looking for new ways to serve their customers affordably and with scale.