10BE5, which grew out of elite New York law firm, Cleary Gottlieb, has had a focus on building products for prospectus drafting (see AL article). CEO, John Kwan (above left), worked at Cleary as an associate, while fellow co-founder, Mohamed Taha (above right), still works there, and the firm has also invested in the start-up.
In related news, in a detailed interview this week with this site the firm set out how its new Cleary X project will be focused on tech-driven transactional work – see AL article.
But, back to Vinge. Artificial Lawyer caught up with Kwan to find out some more:
– How did you get to know Vinge?
Vinge works with many of our global firm customers as Swedish co-counsel on deals. We were introduced to Vinge through Cleary initially in early 2021. We then worked with Vinge on a Swedish IPO using N2N [one of their core products that helps with prospectus drafting].
– What will the partnership entail?
The objectives of the partnership are:
- Co-developing 10BE5’s products for use in capital markets and M&A transactions;
- Tailoring 10BE5’s products to the specific requirements for companies in the Nordic region; and
- Facilitating the growth of listings in the Nordic region through tech adoption.
The working groups from each party will meet (in-person meetings have also been scheduled to take place in Sweden) regularly to explore and expand use cases, trial and improve the products, and exchange data/templates. All the tech development will be done by 10BE5. Vinge will contribute legal expertise and knowledge of practices in the Nordic region.
At a more strategic level, 10BE5 will work with Vinge to engage with other players in the capital markets ecosystem, including Nasdaq, Inc. and its Nordic stock exchanges and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority.
As before, 10BE5 will continue to serve all law firms and companies. This partnership will enable us to create and improve products that are useful for all law firms, both international and local, and companies that are active in the Nordic region.
– How have your products developed since you first launched?
The first product we launched in late 2020 called N2N (numbers to narrative) focuses on financial disclosure drafting. Financial disclosure is a key component of a prospectus or periodic report. The overall vision is to build an all-in-one platform that automates a range of capital markets-related workstreams, including the drafting of the full prospectus. A lot is happening:
- N2N – N2N has undergone multiple iterations since its initial launch. Thanks to N2N being used by top capital markets practices across the globe, we have been able to incorporate valuable feedback that addresses specific requirements in different regions. Take a couple of concrete examples: (1) feedback from lawyers in Asia at two Magic Circle firms led us to develop alternative cash flow discussion structures required in that region and (2) feedback by a top 50 Am Law firm that used N2N to prepare a Form 10-Q for a US issuer led us to develop additional configurations suitable for ongoing reporting.
- Takedown – This product enables the rapid generation of transaction documents for shelf take-downs (offering of securities from a shelf registration statement). We are trialling this with Cleary. (Relatedly, 10BE5 is a member of the GLML Foundation and we actively encourage the use of the GLML standardisation taxonomy for SEC-registered shelf take-downs with this product.)
- Risk Factors – Risk Factors will provide a one-stop-shop solution that addresses lawyer’s research, drafting, and knowledge management needs in relation to risk factors. This uses a lot of NLP in text parsing, generation, classification, and summarisation.
– What is your funding position now?
Simultaneously with the announcement of the partnership we have completed a modest funding round and brought on a number of new investors. Cleary participated in the round.
– Overall, how are things going?
Pretty well! We are trusted by many of the top global law firms and now have double-digit number of customers. We engage closely with lawyers at each of the firms we work with and are actively exploring other co-development/partnership opportunities. The next major area of growth for us is to expand usages across offices within the existing customers and win reporting companies as direct customers.
I think it’s fair to say that a lot of lawyers really love us, particularly how our products help them meet impossible deadlines and avoid all-nighters.
This looks positive, and what is all the more noteworthy is that this is a legal tech venture backed by one of New York’s leading firms – a group that many had thought were not moving so rapidly in this direction. Moreover, 10BE5 is now working with one of Scandinavia’s leading firms – as well as other top US firms. So, things are progressing well. It will be interesting to see how they grow and expand their range of products.
Let’s go back to Vinge again.
Jesper Schönbeck, Partner and Head of Capital Markets and Public M&A at Vinge and heavily involved in its innovation practice, said: ‘I believe it’s inevitable that the use of technologies will transform how we prepare capital markets legal documentation for the better. I am impressed by 10BE5’s ability to combine legal expertise with cutting-edge AI technologies. As one of the most active capital markets advisors in Sweden, we are confident that our clients and lawyers will benefit from this initiative.’
While, Kristian Weberyd, Digital and Innovation Officer at Vinge, added: ‘This partnership will enable us to stay ahead of the curve and participate directly in the development of tech solutions that serve our and our clients, as a part of our strategy.’