It’s not every day that a global bank invests in a legal tech company, so Artificial Lawyer caught up with Abrar Huq, Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer at Arteria AI, to ask some questions about how things are going at the digital documentation startup that span out of Deloitte, and that last week received an undisclosed investment from the strategic investing arm of Citi bank’s Global Spread Products division, as well as from BDC Capital.
– Is Citi using your tech and do you think it will expand its use?
As part of being a global strategic partner, Citi is intending to join Arteria’s list of top-tier banking customers, many of whom have chosen Arteria to tackle some of the most complex trading documentation use cases. For instance, Citi intends to use Arteria to enhance documentation and data efficiency in the structured credit market.
– Do you see what you offer as helping to drive standardisation in contracts?
While Arteria certainly can help provide standardisation in contracts, one of the reasons we have been successful is in promoting the ability to use data coming out of contracts (whether or not they are standardised).
Our unique technology allows us to populate even the most complex and bespoke data model of complex financial institutions. There will always be areas of contracting where the paper will inherently be non-standardised or bespoke, and we bring parties the flexibility to continue to negotiate with non-standardised language as they do today.
– How has the integration with H4 gone? And how has it changed Arteria’s offering? [Note: they acquired the financial services assets of London-based H4 in December 2021, a company that also focuses on digitisation of complex contracts.]
The H4 integration has been successful. The core offering continues to be driven by Arteria’s product, but the thinking and expertise of H4 has certainly contributed to our product roadmap and will continue to inform our evolution.
– How many staff are you now, and where is the company expanding (e.g. national markets and segments)?
Our total headcount is between 60 and 70 at the moment.
We continue to serve global customers, such as Goldman Sachs, and so our focus on expansion continues to be in the key financial centres in each region (North America, UK & Europe, Asia Pacific).
– Last, how large do you think the market opportunity is for companies such as Arteria?
The broader market opportunity is clearly massive, particularly across industries. That being said, we are seeing a clear preference in the market, in institutional financial services in particular, for tools and solutions that solve for the unique challenges of that industry. We see the continued market adoption of Arteria in various institutional settings as a strong signal towards a preference for tooling that understands specific contexts.
And to conclude, here’s a last word from Citi, from Christina Wojcik, Director, Legal Innovation: ‘Arteria is approaching the complex document data challenges of financial institutions with a forward-thinking approach, reflecting their deep understanding of financial documents.’
The key takeaway here seems to be that no matter what tech you may have on offer, subject matter specialisation remains important and drives client interest in your product.