Joining alongside Kira are a pair of companies that are perhaps less well-known: Hotshot – a largely video-based legal knowhow and training business; and CoParse – a productivity startup that works as a DOCX and PDF reader that among other capabilities uses NLP to automatically organise your document into chapters and sections, thereby speeding up review.
CoParse was founded by Jacob Beckerman, a 22-year-old alum of The Wharton School’s exclusive M&T programme and is already VC-backed by law firm, Cooley, and the BoxGroup investment fund.
CoParse currently lists three staff on LinkedIn and is the smallest company so far to join LexFusion. In fact, it’s so small, and LexFusion’s marketing reach so great, that its joining the group seems a bit like it entering an accelerator programme.
But, first Kira. It’s not a massive surprise that LexFusion has added a doc review tool, it was more a matter of which one would join. Artificial Lawyer asked Joe Borstein, the co-founder of LexFusion about the move.
‘Kira’s focus is on M&A and other than Litera Transact we didn’t have what we wanted there,’ he explained. ‘We chose Kira because we wanted to have an excellent solution.’
Noah Waisberg, CEO and co-founder of Kira, also told Artificial Lawyer: ‘We joined because we (1) think Joe is great, and are optimistic that he and the team can help us add customers, and (2) we see complementarity with other solutions they’re already selling (as Joe put it, ‘we’re already selling Kira’. There is no real reason for why now as opposed to earlier or later.’
‘One of the truest measures of success as a software company is whether people use your software. We’re optimistic that LexFusion will help us build new relationships with people who get value from our software in 2021 and beyond.’
So, there you go, adding Kira makes a lot of sense, as this kind of tool was clearly a missing piece in what LexFusion calls its ‘go-to-market collective of innovative legal solutions’, which includes legal services. For example, Factor is a legal process business and another member, Priori Legal, offers lawyers on demand.
The addition of CoParse also makes sense given the capabilities Litera offers around document creation and editing. It also lines up with Agiloft’s broadening CLM offering.
Meanwhile, Hotshot was founded by Ian Nelson and Chris Wedgeworth, former leaders of Practical Law Company – now part of Thomson Reuters. Legal education and training is something of a departure for LexFusion, but one can see how clients might be interested in the entire group of what is now ten members:
- Factor – legal process,
- Time by Ping – timekeeping,
- HaystackID – ediscovery,
- Litera – legal workflow specialists and more,
- Priori Legal – lawyers on demand,
- Frontline, outsourced IT and operational services,
- Agiloft – CLM and more.
- Plus now: Kira Systems, Hotshot, and CoParse.
In terms of how the three new members fit into the overall offering, Casey Flaherty, who recently joined the group from Baker McKenzie, added in a statement: ‘Lawyers have always done these tasks: continuous learning, read contracts, address contracts en masse, but now they have beautiful modern options for doing them all better. We could not be prouder to welcome CoParse, Kira, and Hotshot.’
Is this a big deal? The arrival of Kira clearly shows that LexFusion is continuing to attract major brand names in the legal tech field. However, the arrival of CoParse is intriguing, in that it is a startup that few people know of – although that may change very soon.
Artificial Lawyer asked Borstein if welcoming in companies that are just starting their journey was a precursor to investing in startups? After all, as mentioned above, it’s almost like being in a legal tech accelerator when you join a group like this as a small business.
Borstein told this site that the idea of LexFusion investing in smaller companies that join the marketing group could be a possibility at some point in the future, but it’s not their strategic focus right now.
And as to the future? Now with Flaherty onboard and with more members, LexFusion is growing rapidly after launching late last year.
Borstein pointed out that as they’re introducing their members to clients, such as law firms and inhouse teams, those members are introducing the clients to other members they may not know yet. And so it grows.
Or, as Borstein put it: ‘It’s a perpetual motion machine.’