Contract Data Startup Syntheia Acquires Motionize

In a rare move, one legal tech startup has acquired another. Syntheia, a contract data startup, has acquired Motionize, which helps with access to KM assets and provides drafting guidance to lawyers.

The co-founders of US-based Motionize, Joshua Schoen and Luke Waltman, have become consultants to Syntheia following the acquisition. While large companies buying legal tech startups is now a regular event, one startup acquiring another is still relatively unusual in the legal tech field. In this case, Motionize started in 2019, while Syntheia launched the year before.

Horace Wu, Founder and CEO, Syntheia.

Horace Wu (pictured), Founder and CEO of Australia-based Syntheia, told Artificial Lawyer: ‘We are ecstatic about this deal. We have been working with Motionize for more than six months, and come to know them quite well. Both our companies pursue the common goal of putting relevant and useful information at lawyers’ fingertips.

‘While Syntheia has been focused on building our machine learning engine, the team at Motionize has been laser focused on creating the best user experience and refining the frontend of their application. We are looking forward to incorporating features from Motionize to better serve our customers.’

He added: ‘Syntheia already had a deal to support Motionize with its creation of clause banks by allowing them to use our clause extraction API. Through this collaboration, we identified strong synergies between us. This acquisition will allow Syntheia to enhance the capabilities of our Word AI drafting tool, which helps lawyers find precedent provisions from their past work.

‘Syntheia’s long term goal remains the same – improving how legal work is done through making use of data in contracts. This means providing technology that can automatically and reliably transform contracts into data, and providing applications that deliver useful and relevant information to lawyers. We are always looking for ways to improve the user experience of our applications. Most of the time, we are doing the coding and building, but sometimes, like today, we can accelerate the improvements by acquiring someone else. 

‘As to Motionize’s future – since we have acquired substantially all of their assets, their team will be moving to Syntheia as consultants for the transition phase to help with integration and our growth.’

In a statement, Schoen, the Co-founder and CEO of Motionize, added: ‘We believe this combination will ultimately bring forth a category defining drafting product. With Syntheia’s AI and Motionize’s easy-to-use interface, it has never been easier to spin off legal agreements. We are excited by our future together and the possibilities we will create.’

In terms of what the two companies – now one company – do: Syntheia helps lawyers navigate and work with complex contracts. Syntheia offers a number of applications for different legal workflows. These applications include a Word Add-In that uses language models to make drafting suggestions from past work, a multi-document comparison tool that pinpoints variances and risks across contracts, and a KM portal that automatically transforms contracts into clauses and metadata.

Syntheia has also participated in well-known legal tech programmes, such as Slaughter and May’s Collaborate and the Allens’ Auctus Accelerator.

Meanwhile, Motionize started as a company that provides a Word Add-In to help lawyers do several things, including: find and compare clauses from their past deals and precedents, while staying in their workflow in Microsoft Word, identify potential problems in their document, including unused or missing defined terms, and help law firms share knowledge across their practice groups through centralizing clauses and precedents.