Legal Nodes, the marketplace offering clients legal services on a fixed fee subscription basis, has bagged $300,000 in early stage funding.
Meanwhile the company, physically based in Kyiv, Ukraine, but which incorporated in London from the start, is now relocating to the UK in September to scale the business in what is the world’s second largest legal market.
The investment round was led by the LIFT99 Angel Syndicate and included investments from a number of investors.
Margarita Sivakova, CEO & Co-founder, told Artificial Lawyer: ‘The lawyers who do the work are mostly solo practitioners or founders of small legal practices. Currently, contract lawyers are from the Eastern European region and we are now engaging legal partners in the UK from our existing network of lawyers whom we previously referred work on a project basis.’
‘We also have lawyers whom we can quickly engage for project-based work and this network spans more than 10 different jurisdictions including Asian countries and a lot of the EU countries.’
This site then asked if she would describe Legal Nodes as one of the growing number of lawyer marketplaces?
‘I think ‘lawyer marketplace’ is not a perfect fit. I would rather define it as a legal product marketplace because Legal Nodes provides software, frameworks for standardisation (e.g. pricing and timing; workflows; templates), legal product packaging, and client leads, while lawyers can connect to the system and provide their services via the standardised subscription model and form the lifeblood of the ecosystem,’ Sivakova said, (pictured above centre with co-founders Max Maliuk and Nestor Dubnev.)
The company initially started as a lawyer ‘matchmaking’ platform two and a half years ago. However, it was difficult for clients to understand what type of legal support they needed because of the ‘information asymmetry that exists in the market‘, the company explained.
The team decided to solve this pain point by introducing a legal services subscription model, i.e. you pay a fixed fee each month and can rely on a set of legal services that will be delivered as and when needed. The first 10 companies bought the subscription in just a week after it was launched, the company said.
Now, with over 60 companies onboard, Legal Nodes is launching a full-scale ‘legal productisation platform’ and looking to grow the network of legal partners across different service areas: commercial, corporate, and data protection.
Meanwhile, for lawyers, they noted, it’s an opportunity to ‘sell their services online for a fixed monthly fee and have access to a personal online dashboard to manage their workflow’.
And for clients, Legal Nodes acts as a virtual in-house counsel to whom one can submit legal tasks and track their progress in the client portal for a predictable fixed monthly fee. The company wants to eventually remove the need to maintain large in-house legal teams in the office, they added.
Mathias Eklöf, the founder of Hype Ventures, added in a statement: ‘We agreed to invest in Legal Nodes after a 45-minute coffee sit-down in Silicon Valley just days before Covid started. I was blown away by the team. They complement each other perfectly and have a great vibe about them. The problem they are solving – the complexity and cost of legal services – is real, and I believe they can make a huge contribution to changing that market.’
While CTO and Co-CEO at Pipedrive, Sergei Anikin, who also joined the round, concluded: ‘There are few industries which are not easily accessible for the general population. One of them is legal services. I am glad to see that the Legal Nodes team decided to challenge the status quo of the industry and are now building well-defined and fairly priced legal services for everyone who might need it. I am looking forward to the future where everyone will be able to purchase legal services similar to the entertainment and software subscriptions.’
[ Note: in some ways this seems to be something the Liquid Legal Institute – see earlier story today – could examine as a model for their Legal Department as a Service project. ]
P.S. Clients the group can name so far include:
- Datrics (YC Startup)
- Shelf.network (Techstars portfolio company)
- Captain Growth (made an exit)
- Preply (raised Series B recently)
- Eventornado (founded by a Pipedrive co-founder, Martin Henk who invested in Legal Nodes and also became a client of our platform)
- Boosty Labs (software development company)