Eigen Technologies, the legal and financial services AI doc review company, has completed a major $37m (£29m) Series B funding round co-led by Lakestar and Dawn Capital, with participation from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, and Goldman Sachs Growth Equity.
The move is further proof that the money flowing into legal tech is not slowing, and that some startups are quite rapidly reaching later funding stages, as in this case, (see related market funding analysis).
The pioneering London-based company said that the fresh funding would help support its strategy of becoming a truly Transatlantic business, with the US seen as equally important to the AI company as the UK and other major markets where it operates.
The funding and designs on US growth make sense for a company focused on high-end financial services review work, and complex legal document analysis. New York – where the company has had an office since 2017 – remains without doubt the world’s leading financial capital and so to be the company Eigen wants to be it will need major US coverage.
Unlike some other doc review-focused businesses, Eigen has always seen legal as one part of the wider business, rather than its sole focus. That said, the area of doc review is increasingly seen by many players in the space as beyond any particular organisational vertical and straddles many parts of the business world.
Eigen’s technology is currently deployed for use cases as diverse as bank capital optimisation, LIBOR repapering, asset-backed securities analysis, portfolio origination, and complex regulatory compliance exercises such as Dodd-Frank, Basel III, and Solvency II.
In short, they’re right in the centre of the harder and more complex financial services sector needs when it comes to contract analysis.
This new funding brings the total funding raised by Eigen to $55m (£43m), following the company’s Series A round in June 2018, which was co-led by Goldman Sachs and Temasek – who have invested again this time.
Since last summer, Eigen said it had more than doubled its headcount to around 100, moved into major new offices in the City of London and ‘grown its recurring revenue sixfold’ – although the company won’t give exact figures on what this is.
As to what they will do with all that new money – $37m of it – the company said it would be spent to ‘accelerate growth, with significant investments in both its technical and commercial teams. The company will also double down on its commitment to be a truly Transatlantic business, with additional senior management roles based out of New York’.
The science team will double in size and push forward new machine learning research, they added.
The move follows the recent release of Eigen 3.0, which can deliver far faster review and NLP training, and is a case in point of where the company is seeking to not just maintain its tech, but is seeking to take it forward quite rapidly.
Co-founder and CEO of Eigen Technologies, Dr. Lewis Z. Liu (pictured above), said of the new funding: ‘When we founded Eigen five years ago, I wanted to build a research-led transatlantic business. Since the Series A we have made great progress by massively scaling the company, expanding our client base, and integrating cutting-edge machine learning techniques into our NLP product. This new round will allow us to supercharge our growth.’
He went on to add: ’80-90% of the enterprise data in the world today is unstructured information such as text, meaning that most organisations are unable to it unlock its value. With continuing economic uncertainty and the ongoing disruption by data-native companies such as Google, Tencent, and Amazon, the imperative to be able to leverage this data is stronger than ever. The new funding will enable Eigen to further its core mission by unlocking the value of our clients’ qualitative data.’
As for the investors, this is what two of them had to say:
Partner and Chief Technology Officer of Lakestar, Stephen Nundy, said: ‘As Eigen’s usage grows across finance and then into other business verticals such as insurance, legal, regulatory, and healthcare, we will see more impactful business value use cases for NLP data extraction, at complexity levels previously thought to be out of reach.’
While, Principal at Dawn Capital, Mina Mutafchieva, added: ‘We look forward to supporting Lewis and his team as they continue their successful expansion into the financial services sector and move to address use cases in other verticals.’
Is this a big deal? Clearly it is. Both for Eigen and the market. $37m for a company that only has 100 employees is a big surge of cash that will soon enough be spent on new talent, building new NLP capabilities and on plenty of marketing and BD.
The focus on the US creates new pressures in the world’s biggest legal tech market for other legal AI players. Luminance, for example, is also keen to increase its client base there and has new US management. Kira Systems and Seal Software, both based in North America, will no doubt also be watching this expansion drive with interest.
The new splash of cash also comes just one day after Artificial Lawyer published a piece about whether we are going to be facing a legal tech crash, given the level of money coming into the sector now. If you’d like to consider some of the points raised, check it out here.