Legal AI company, LinkSquares, which has a strong focus on contract review and working directly with corporate legal teams, has today announced the completion of a $4.8 million funding round, which involved a leading US law firm investing in the Boston-based tech business.
The round was led by Hyperplane Venture Capital and MassMutual Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. As part of the financing, John Murphy of Hyperplane is joining the LinkSquares board. The most recent financing brings LinkSquares’ total venture funding to $6.9 million. The major US law firm, for now, wishes to remain anonymous – but it is understood to be one that has not invested in startups before.
In addition to LinkSquares’ success, the funding is further proof of several things:
- the appetite for legal AI tech is growing, and therefore the belief from expert investors that this is a growth sector of the market is firming up.
- the demand for legal AI tools, such as contract review, inside corporates is also growing and it’s clear that legal tech companies in this field can prosper by selling directly to the end clients rather than just to law firms and other legal services businesses.
- that an increasing number of top law firms, in the US and elsewhere, are now putting their own cash into startups, whether related to AI and automation, or other aspects of legal tech.
Artificial Lawyer covered the company two years ago. Since then LinkSquares has grown to be a player in the AI-powered contract management and analytics software space.
LinkSquares’ customers include high-growth companies such as VMware, DraftKings, Kensho, Wish.com, Asurion, and Carbonite. With the funding LinkSquares will continue to expand its team with top talent, invest in advancing its AI capabilities, and focus on ‘a customer-centric go to market strategy’, they said.
John Murphy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Hyperplane, added: ‘As intelligent tools continue to proliferate, we believe there is a huge opportunity to use AI to automate the routine, recurring processes within different functional areas of an organisation. LinkSquares provides an elegant solution that allows legal professionals to automate these manual, low value tasks and focus on what’s really important.’
In a chat with Artificial Lawyer, the co-founder of LinkSquares, Vishal Sunak, said that 2018 had been an incredible year for the company and had seen revenues increase by 300%. They also went from 15 staff to 35 (see picture below) and as noted, with the funding will likely grow a lot more in 2019.
In a longer conversation, Sunak and Artificial Lawyer covered some other major points:
What does this funding mean to you and the company?
First and foremost, working with Hyperplane and MassMutual Ventures couldn’t be more of an ideal fit for LinkSquares. I’ve known both teams for over a year and they are passionate about the application of AI to solve big business problems.
They’ve been incredibly supportive of our vision for creating the ultimate legal cloud and applying technology to help the in-house counsel work more effectively. As a part of this financing, we are excited to have John Murphy from Hyperplane join our board. Though I’m not at liberty to disclose it, having piqued the interest from a top AM 200 Law firm as an investor is also incredible validation of the path we are on and the potential for partnerships with law firms.
From my viewpoint, it enables us to continue on this amazing journey to upgrade the way that in-house legal counsel and corporate legal departments operate. Being able to connect with hundreds in-house teams has motivated our team to continue to focus on a big key question – ‘How do we make their lives easier?‘ That feels amazing. The multitude of happy of customers we have is always the most motivating factor for me personally.
We are seeing the legal market and in-house corporate teams activating towards the application of technology to help them with these historically pain manual contract reviews to get answers. We’re bullish about the future and the impact we can make.
What’s next for the company following this $4.8m funding?
We’re squarely focused on the post-signature analysis world. Working with the legacy contracts that have been previously executed and providing a single source of truth to gain insights and answer key business questions about what has been agreed to.
In 2019 we’ll continue to develop cutting-edge AI applications for automated meta-data extraction, benchmarking, recommendations and integrations with various business systems. We couldn’t be more excited to share this news with Artificial Lawyer, the first trade news site to ever report on LinkSquares 🙂
Huge congrats to Vishal and the team at LinkSquares! It’s always so great to chat with a startup when they’re just getting going and then a couple of years later catch up again to see how brilliantly they are doing. The company’s success also shows how vast the potential market is for legal AI tools and that really we’re still at the very beginning of where this will eventually lead to.