In further proof that legal tech startups are still booming, UK-based legal spend pioneer, Apperio, has this morning announced the completion of a $10 million (£7.5 million) Series A funding round that should help to massively scale up the business.
The funding was led by Draper Esprit and supported by existing investors Notion, IQ Capital and a number of angels. Richard Marsh from Draper Esprit will be joining the board to support the next phase of growth.
The move is also a sign of the continued rise of automated legal spend analysis systems from a range of companies that track and provide data insights into time billed, overall costs of a matter, and what type of staffing has been used, as well as if a law firm has met billing requirements. Other companies to also have helped pioneer this growing area include, among others, Ping and Digitory Legal. Even IBM Watson has developed an application here for inhouse counsel.
Aside from signalling Apperio’s success, the investment points to a wider change in the legal market with corporates clearly eager to gather together data that allows them to challenge the bills of law firms, better manage their expenditure and generally have more transparency around how they procure and use external legal support.
While inhouse legal teams have long talked about ‘pushing back’ on legal bills, or holding firms to account for how they produce work, especially for more routine matters, many have not had easy to use tools to help them in that endeavour. Now, it appears Apperio and others have flipped the balance of power somewhat to allow General Counsel to have far greater control over what they have to pay for. Or to put it simply: information is power, and now they have that vital billing information in an easily accessible format.
Apperio’s fully automated cloud-based legal spend platform allows clients to track both billed and unbilled hours, in real-time, run analytics on that data and to also monitor law firm performance. The technology helps in-house teams to effectively manage budgets, while at the same time helping them to demonstrate value to their internal stakeholders such as the CFO.
Clients at present include: Network Rail, Deliveroo and Just Eat. The team is now around 20 people and the company said it had seen revenues grow by more than 300% in the last year.
Artificial Lawyer has been watching the company’s rise for some time and it’s great to see another legal tech pioneer receive such a vote of confidence from the market.
Apperio’s Founder, Nicholas d’Adhemar, said: ‘Companies typically spend between 1% and 2% of their annual turnover on legal fees, but the ability to monitor spend and have access to fee data and analytics is at worst non-existent, at best manual.’
‘With only 13% of legal departments describing their spend management approach as ‘optimised’ and 25% of legal departments not using any legal technology at all, there is a huge opportunity to provide clarity to General Counsels and gather accurate, real-time insights that enable better decision making and help reduce legal expenditure,’ he concluded.
Apperio receives data on a daily basis from all law firms, resulting in a real-time provision to corporate legal departments and a clear picture of their exposure at any given time.
Apperio also has active data feeds providing live information for their corporate clients covering almost 80% of the UK legal market, eight of the top 10 US firms and a growing coverage in the rest of the world.
This investment will be used to grow the company in all areas with a particular focus on Commercial and Customer Success to promote international expansion and support the growing customer base to achieve their legal operations objectives. To permit this growth, Apperio will move into a new office, in Holborn, London, in the heart of London’s legal district.
Marsh from Draper Esprit, added: ‘We are delighted to be leading the investment in Apperio at a time when the company is accelerating its growth and is showing strong market momentum. We look forward to working alongside Nino and the rest of the team as they look to expand the business into new markets. Apperio’s software is transformative in the way in which law firms and their corporate clients can interact.’
Apperio is featured in the AL 100