Dentons-Backed Nextlaw Ventures Invests Again in Libryo

Nextlaw Ventures, the independent investment arm connected to Nextlaw Labs and backed by global firm Dentons, has invested again in Libryo, the regulatory information platform. The investment was structured as a convertible note.

The new money is part of a fresh round of funding that totalled £1.35m ($1.91m) and was led by Future Energy Ventures, and was also supported by a range of existing and new investors, including the UK Government’s Future Fund.

Nextlaw was an early supporter of Libryo, investing as far back as 2016. It’s not known exactly what share of the new investment belongs to Nextlaw. The investment group, although technically independent, includes Dentons’ top management as part of its team, including Joe Andrew, the Global Chairman of Dentons, and Elliott Portnoy the Global CEO of Dentons.

The move is noteworthy because after a range of investments around 2016/17, Nextlaw Ventures – the investment arm, one might say, of Nextlaw Labs – became a lot quieter.

Also, Doxly, which was an early investment, was bought by Litera some time ago. ROSS was another early target for their funds, which as we know is no more (for now…). While they also put money into Beagle AI, which is also effectively defunct.

That they are still putting new money into legal tech is a positive sign.

Below is a partial list of their current and past investments:

Info from NextLaw Ventures website, May 2021.

Also of interest is that the investment was structured as a convertible note, not a straight cash for equity deal. Convertible notes are debt instruments that may include things like a maturity date and an interest rate, and can convert into equity if a future equity round is raised.

Founded in 2016, Libryo has developed a range of capabilities to help with regulatory compliance, from tracking capabilities and customised legal registers, to collaboration tools, document storage and search capabilities.

Libryo can also provide multi-jurisdictional organisations with a single platform for accessing their Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) regulatory requirements.

Most recently the company launched Libryo Assess, a new module that helps organisations gain visibility of their compliance status and risk levels across each of their operating sites.

‘The potential for the Libryo solution to disrupt the legal industry was apparent from the early days of this company. We are delighted to continue supporting Libryo’s growth and expansion,’ said Dan Jansen, CEO of Nextlaw Ventures.

Malcolm Gray, Libryo co-founder and CFO, added: ‘Our positive customer feedback and strong partner support continue to give us confidence in what we are doing, and the strength to continue to make an impact. Together we will keep on having fun, making money, and doing something good as we help companies navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment.’

P.S. For those that are curious that the UK Government has invested in Libryo, here is some more info:

‘The Future Fund was established to support the UK’s innovative businesses currently affected by Covid-19. These businesses have been unable to access other government business support programmes, such as CBILS, because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit and typically rely on equity investment. The Future Fund, now closed to new applications, provides eligible companies with convertible loans, on the condition that private investors at least match the government’s commitment. The convertible loans are designed to convert into equity at the next qualifying funding round. The Future Fund is developed by the government and delivered by the British Business Bank.’