Clara – a startup that is helping startups – and which styles itself ‘a legal Operating System providing an integrated set of self-service tools to help founders digitally form, manage and scale’ their fledgling companies, has bagged fresh investment, taking them to over $3.5m in Seed funding.
The highly active ‘Legal Tech Fund’ provided the most recent investment, which is understood to have been a modest amount ahead of Clara launching into its search for Series A funding.
According to Crunchbase, last July, Clara received funding from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and in 2019 raised $2m from a number of investors, in what was also termed a Seed round.
Now they’ve been going for a while, they are capitalised, and the London-based company is spreading its wings. That said, they have already helped 1,200 companies internationally during its Beta phase.
All well and good. What does it do? It’s a bit like the well-known Seed Legals. In this case they describe what they can offer this way:
- ‘Protect your business with key legal documents and store them online: Share Incentive Plans, SAFEs, Convertible Notes, IP Assignment Agreements and more.
- Clara transforms profile details into visuals: your cap table, map and documents.
- We support self-sufficiency and help founders manage their own legals with confidence. By sharing the tools and knowledge to lessen founders’ administrative workloads, we free up their time and energy to work on what’s important to them – building thriving, successful businesses.’
Patrick Rogers, CEO and Co-Founder of Clara, (and who also once used to be a lawyer at Jones Day), told Artificial Lawyer: ‘We’re delighted to announce the Legal Tech Fund’s investment in Clara as we emerge from Beta and continue to scale ahead of our Series A raise later this year. They have built an incredible team at the Legal Tech Fund and they will be able to open a lot of doors for Clara in the years to come.’
Zach Posner, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Legal Tech Fund, added: ‘Even though Clara has just come out of beta, what they’ve built so far has helped thousands of founders navigate the complex world of startup law in a way that has not been done before. We’re excited about our investment in Clara – a company that we believe is building a category-creating product.’
Is this a big deal? Perhaps not in terms of financial numbers, but it’s yet another example of ‘standard docs’ and other facilities being made available especially for smaller companies that are aiming at rapid growth, and also at very affordable prices and in a user-friendly, online way.
In fact, we have even seen law firms do this, such as Clifford Chance in Singapore, which has a created a self-service doc creation platform for startups, while Wilson Sonsini in the US is also providing a broad platform for new tech companies with online automated documents and other support services.
Overall, what this suggests is that the market for startup-scale legal services is under pressure, with innovative approaches emerging to help new companies get going without needing to use a lawyer, as well as major law firms providing similar services for customers that perhaps could not normally afford to work with Big Law at this stage – but which perhaps may do so later in their growth cycle.
(Main pic: the Clara team, Rogers is on the right.)