While valuations of public software-as-a-service companies have been under significant pressure of late, as investors keep the sector cool amid a wider, post-pandemic tech stock sell-off, SaaS startups still need to raise funding. to scale up their nascent businesses. — or, well, they hope they’ll be able to do so on reasonable terms despite these wider market bumps.
Based in London today leglA SaaS startup founded in 2019 that sells tools to law firms looking to digitize processes and automate workflows in areas such as customer onboarding, payments and compliance to support a more modern customer experience, announces the end of a Series B round of $18 million – just over a year after it raised a $7 million Series A.
The Series B was led by several tech investors, including existing investor Octopus Ventures (which led the Series A), though Legl doesn’t specify the round’s other backers. Previously disclosed investors in the company include Backed, Samaipata and First Round Capital, plus a number of angels.
The startup says it has expanded its client base from around 100 UK-based law firms in March 2021 to 170+ now – which it specifies to include 20 of the Top 200 firms in the country.
It will use the Series B to kick-start its planned international expansion, targeting other markets where its UK customer base has offices, as well as investing in product development and recruitment.
“There is a global opportunity for law firms to run their businesses in a more modern, efficient, revenue-oriented and customer-friendly way. We are working with our client base to expand into their international offices in multiple different geographies,” said Founder and CEO, Julia Salasky.
“Over the past year, we have expanded our vision of a new category in the legal space – client lifecycle management – by investing in the underlying CRM that enables law firms not only to digitize previously manual business workflows across the entire client lifecycle, but also to better understand customer base. We have immersed ourselves in our core competencies in risk management, compliance and payments and finance, enabling law firms to undertake activities that touch on their regulated business processes, as well as improve cash flow and improve the client experience.”
“With the new funding, we will expand our workflow-driven approach to business management, focusing in particular on how law firms can drive faster revenues, better and lower-risk financial management, and a better client experience. We are already enabling law firms to manage much of their client base and payment package and plan to develop more capabilities for more firms in the coming months,” she adds.
Salasky, whose name may also be known as the former founder of the CrowdJustice platform, tells us that Legl has seen 3x revenue growth and 150% net revenue retention in the past year, suggesting its SaaS is proving to be a big hit with law firms.
She refuses to disclose the startup’s valuation for the Series B, but confirms the increase was certain not a downward round.
“This is a big round for us! Last round, we raised $7 million last year and this is an $18 million round (closed in this new funding environment!), building on the revenue growth and momentum we’ve had,” she notes.
As to whether the SaaS startup is experiencing any impact from a broader market cooling in technology and SaaS stocks, she adds, “Law firms are notoriously counter-cyclical firms, so they don’t tend to suffer as much as traditional businesses in a downturn, but overall, as we show more value to law firms and drive better core businesses, we become more, not less valuable, regardless of market conditions.”
Legal and compliance technology has been an increasingly active category for startups in recent years. But Salasky suggests that most of the action has focused on contract management or other targeted “point solutions.” While Legl aims to differentiate itself by providing law firms with a more holistic platform to increase their ability to serve clients by providing them with a suite of digital tools that can automate and support their business operations – freeing up in-house expertise to focus on more of the most important legal work.
“There has been an explosion of investment in contract management and other areas where substantive legal work could be improved. But what are we doing legl takes a different approach: we’re focused on the legal business, on running a complex, regulated, customer-centric business where there’s been little cloud-based technology to date,” she suggests. †
In a statement regarding the Series B, Octopus Ventures investor Malcolm Ferguson added: “We are delighted to continue to support Julia and the team in their mission to free up lawyers’ time so they can focus on creating of value to their clients.. The company has really grown over the past 12 months and positions itself as the go-to solution for law firms looking to modernize and automate their non-core activities.This not only improves a law firm’s revenues and margins, but also means that they can provide a significantly better experience for their clients and we are excited to see what Julia can achieve with this funding in the coming years.”