Robin AI, the NLP-supported ALSP focused on contracts, has received £2.5m ($3.3m) in a Seed extension funding round with the SoftBank Emerge Program and Tom Blomfield, the Founder of Monzo, taking part.
The move follows Robin AI joining the SoftBank-led Emerge accelerator in October. SoftBank is now becoming something of a serial legal tech / legal sector investor, after joining the $115m investment into ContractPodAi, and also investing into MarqVision, an IP and legal tech startup, both this year.
Previous investors Episode 1 and Forward Partners also took part. The latest funding round brings Robin AI’s total funding to £5m ($6.6m).
The company told Artificial Lawyer that the money will be used to expand operations and accelerate product development. At present they have 23 staff and hope to hire around 25 more employees in their next phase of their growth.
The investment is also yet another validation of the idea of using skilled staff to handle contract work outside of the traditional law firm model, while supported by NLP tools to drive efficiency in the process.
Since its initial Seed round in March, Robin AI has increased revenues by more than 10x, they said. Clients now include: several private equity firms, Clifford Chance, Foot Antsey, Pizza Hut and Babylon Health, among others.
Richard Robinson, CEO and founder of Robin AI, said: ‘Every business transaction in the world requires a contract, but the technology we use to make and manage contracts has not changed since the 1990s. I was a lawyer for seven years and experienced these pain points first-hand; the current contract process is too slow, too expensive and inaccessible to those who rely on contracts the most.
‘We are building a new contract infrastructure that solves these problems by empowering anyone in an organisation to draft, review, and edit business agreements, saving valuable time and money.’
While Adrian Lloyd, Partner at Episode 1, added: ‘We are thrilled to support Robin AI in this stage of their growth… and to be investing alongside our co-investor Forward Partners and new investor SoftBank.’
Robin AI was founded in 2019 by Robinson who, as a lawyer working in the City, observed how repetitive tasks for simple contracts combined with intense time pressures often caused burnout in young lawyers, which inevitably led to high staff turnover.
The company added that Robin AI has been ‘on a mission to make contracts simple and accessible to anyone within an organisation, with or without legal training’.
Is this a big deal?
Clearly for Robin AI it is, but more broadly to see SoftBank get behind an ALSP is a really interesting move that indicates a strong belief in this more efficient approach to contract work. And as noted, SoftBank investing in three legal sector companies in one year is also significant.
SoftBank’s various funds are credited with supporting some of the world’s leading companies and they put a lot of time into choosing targets. So, their backing is very useful as it gives potential customers additional confidence in the company, and also could help to turbo-charge future funding rounds.
Of course, the flipside of such prestigious backers is that you need to grow the business to meet expectations, but it looks like Robin AI is very much doing that.