Online dispute resolution (ODR) platform Presolv360 has raised $1.08m (INR 8.13 crores) in Seed funding, in another sign of a steadily growing legal tech market in India.
Presolv360, which Artificial Lawyer has covered several times, is trying to help solve a major challenge within the billion-strong nation, namely that a civil case takes 13 years on average and because of a lack of judges there are 35 million pending cases.
In terms of how it works, the platform allows enterprises to resolve disputes with their stakeholders out-of-court and ‘capitalise on bespoke offerings such as smart case management, workflow automation, and data-driven insights, resulting in reduced costs, time and effort’.
‘On a macro level, this translates into unburdening the justice delivery system, greater governance, and ease of doing business,’ they explained.
The company also recently did a deal with blockchain-based iDefendo to help with proving that signed contracts actually exist and are valid. In India it is often the case that contract records are missing – an issue that exacerbates the millions of pending civil claims in the country.
The funding came from MGA Ventures (which belongs to the Ashra family office), the Omidyar Network India, and participation from other family offices including Inspira Enterprises, M Pallonji, Jeena and Co., and other angel investors.
While a legal tech company bagging $1m in seed capital in London or New York may not be huge news, the startup sector for legal software remains at a nascent stage in India. So, this is significant.
That said, several well-known and already very developed legal tech companies have large bases in India, including Icertis and ContractPodAi, for example. If you take Icertis, then according to LinkedIn around 1,500 of its 1,900 staff are based in India, while for ContractPodAi, around 60 of its 210 employees listed on LinkedIn are also situated there. And at HighQ, which is now part of Thomson Reuters, about 100 of its 160 staff work in India.
Meanwhile, UK-based insurance law firm, Kennedys, has a software development centre there, and Clifford Chance has long had a base in India to help with legal process tasks. There is also a long-standing history of LPOs in the country.
But recently we have also seen more home-grown legal tech startups and that has triggered the support of one of India’s largest law firms, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), with 750 lawyers, which has created the nation’s first legal tech incubator – Prarambh.
But, back to Presolv360, which took part in Prarambh. The company said the funds will be spent on tech development, client acquisition, and team growth.
Bhaven Shah, Co-founder, Presolv360, said: ‘ODR not only provides disputing parties a fair chance to resolve their disputes online from anywhere across the world, but it also ensures greater participation resulting in higher settlements, trust-building and satisfaction.
‘Today, far more people have access to technology than access to conventional dispute resolution systems, and Presolv360’s ODR platform creates a level-playing field that catalyses inclusion and has strategic benefits for all stakeholders that gain from efficient and effective resolutions achieved in record time.
‘ODR is solving for one of the most challenging problems faced by us all, and when such ideas are backed by funds like Omidyar Network India and MGA Ventures, its true impact begins to unravel.’
Gautam Ashra, Partner at MGA Ventures, which invested in the company, added: ‘In an age where transactions take place in a few seconds, dispute resolution for these transactions is taking years to get resolved. We should not be spending years to resolve disputes, rather be leveraging technology to assist in getting a resolution in a just and timely manner and not just staying in the system for years.
‘ODR is a game changer on how one perceives and approaches the process of dispute resolution in India as compared to the traditional court process. We believe that Presolv360 is building a comprehensive, scalable, and proprietary technology platform led by data-driven solutions and machine learning for ODR in India. Presolv360 is designing the future of dispute resolution and Legal Tech in India.’
(Main pic: Left to Right: Aman Sanghavi, Co-founder and Head Business & Operations; Namita Shah, Co-founder and Head Product & Finance; and Bhaven Shah, Co-founder and Head Legal & Innovation.)