Easy Expunctions, a legal tech company that helps to clear people’s criminal records in the US so that they can then pass job checks, has bagged $6.25m in funding. The Legal Tech Fund, which McDermott Will & Emery just invested in, joined the Series A round.
This financing will support ‘the development and commercialisation of the company’s proprietary, patented and digital technology platform that provides consumers with the most comprehensive and cost-effective tools for erasing all traces of their criminal record without an attorney’.
Given how stringent American companies are when it comes to background checks and the huge number of people who have been arrested there, often during their college days, for infractions such as smoking a spliff in public and other minor offences, there is a real need for this. All the more so when one considers that cannabis laws are constantly changing across the US, effectively making it legal now in several states. Yet many people get stuck with a criminal record that can sabotage their futures.
As the company noted, ‘there are over 70 million American adults with an arrest record today’, and that’s out of a population of 330 million, i.e. about 20% of the country.
In addition to American companies, background checks are also becoming increasingly common in other parts of the world, such as the UK. For example, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in the UK provides criminal record checks for employers and organizations. With more and more employers relying on background checks to make hiring decisions, individuals need to stay informed about their criminal history and check their background regularly. Websites such as DBS Checks UK can provide easy and accessible ways for individuals to obtain and manage their criminal record information.
As Yousef Kassim, CEO of E-Legal, Inc, (the holding company of Easy Expunctions), added: ‘With 90% of major employers running background checks and increased digitisation of criminal history information, there is more demand than ever from consumers as well as non-profits and second-chance employers who are eager to provide our services to their employees and communities.’
Other investors in the Texas-based legal technology company included: Morningside Technology Ventures, Stand Together Ventures Lab, Capital Factory, Graham Weston, Pat Matthews, Springtime Ventures, Cleo Capital, and Rice University Ventures. This new cash will bring its total funding to over $10 million.
Stand Together Ventures Lab Managing Partner, Sihyun Choi, added: ‘Having a criminal record dramatically reduces a job applicant’s chances of hearing back from a potential employer and zaps the economy of tens of billions of dollars each year.
‘Too often, the process to clear one’s record is too time-consuming and expensive for the average person. Easy Expunctions has created technology that will change the game for people looking to put their pasts behind them without sacrificing their financial future. We’re proud to partner with Easy Expunctions as they disrupt a sector that is ripe for innovation.’
While Zach Posner at The LegalTech Fund, concluded: ‘Easy Expunctions developed an innovative technology solution that results in affordable and effective access to justice for the millions of people with a criminal record. Their product is an example of a better mousetrap: an effective alternative to hiring an attorney that is cheaper, faster, and more comprehensive. We are thrilled to be working with the team as they scale their impact through further market expansion and new product offerings.’
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