‘CLM 2.0’ Funding Increases as Malbek Bags $15.3m

CLM startup, Malbek, has just bagged $15.3m in Series A funding, showing that interest in the new wave of ‘CLM 2.0’ companies is only growing among investors.

Other recent investments in the CLM space, (both for older and newer companies), include:

  • CLM Lexion Bags $11m, Wilson Sonsini Invests Again – June 2021
  • CLM Leeway Bags $4.2m – Largest Ever French Legal Tech Seed Funding – March 2021
  • LinkSquares – $40 Million Series B – July 2021
  • NLP-Driven Contract Platform Evisort Bags $35m, Microsoft Fund Joins Again – Feb 2021
  • CLM Icertis Bags $80m…! Values at $2.8 Billion – March 2021
  • Agiloft Bags $45m Funding, Hires EY Law’s LMS Boss – August 2020

Malbek only launched in 2017, so given that they’ve been going just four years we can expect an increased growth trajectory from now on. That said, others in the list are old school players, such as Icertis, and they are clearly not conceding the field to the new kids and are pushing ahead with their own growth plans.

We can then add to this market picture companies such as Knowable, which is not a CLM business, but focused on helping corporates to dashboard their contract data. We also have a growing range of ALSPs that are heavily involved in working with corporates across contract negotiation and contract review needs. And then we have companies such as BlackBoiler and LegalSifter, which are helping inhouse teams with the review and negotiation stage of contracts.

All in all it amounts to a sustained surge of interest in the area of contract creation, negotiation, and management inside corporates, as well as data extraction and dashboarding.

Of course, does this all mean that the clients are changing? Well, every one of the companies above lists a bunch of customers. Those customers are paying for those products. Now, perhaps some are paying but not really using the software as much as they could, but we cannot assume that all are like that. So, just on the evidence here we can say that overall market uptake is increasing and ‘CLM 2.0’, i.e. the ‘newer wave’ of younger CLM rivals, is partly responsible for this growth and uptake.

Then we get to: is the potential market big enough? In broad terms the answer is: yes. All the world’s medium-to-large and very large companies together represent a ginormous opportunity. The real question is: how many of these will take up this tech and associated services in the next couple of years? At present the answer seems to be: ‘enough’. But, at some point the battle for client eyeballs and dollars is going to get as heated as the funding going into CLM companies right now.

Going back to Malbek, the new funding was led by Noro-Moseley Partners. TDF Ventures and Osage Venture Partners also participated.

Malbek said the funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ‘proprietary, patent-pending AI product innovations, while continuing to expand across multiple industries, bringing contracting efficiencies to businesses of all sizes’.

‘This investment unlocks our next stage as a company and enables us to empower more business users to get deeper, more actionable contract data insights that will ultimately save organisations valuable time, reduce risk, and accelerate top-line revenue,’ said Hemanth Puttaswamy, CEO and Co-founder of Malbek.

The Malbek platform is used by organisations across a variety of industries, including: TIBCO Software Inc., Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey), EDF Renewables, Pantheon, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.

In terms of what it offers, here is a brief overview:

  • Malbek Contrax – an intuitive, self-service contract system.
  • Malbek Konnect Integration Marketplace – allows business users to integrate Malbek with daily business applications: Salesforce, MS Dynamics, HubSpot, ERPs, Slack, and eSignature providers,
  • Malbek Lifecycle AI – gives users ‘timely insights and recommendations every step of the way, both pre and post-signature’, with built-in capabilities to support contract authoring, review, negotiation, approval, and milestone management.

The CLM battle continues!