A Brisbane-based startup aiming to bring transparency to the legal procurement process through technology has secured $500,000 in seed funding.
Lawcadia, which launched in February, offers a platform for businesses and government to find, engage and manage outsourced legal counsel.
The seed funding comes from Queensland-based angel investment team ACAC Innovation, and Lawcadia founder and CEO Warwick Walsh says the process was surprisingly smooth.
“We managed to execute it quite quickly,” Walsh tells StartupSmart.
“We decided to raise money at the end of March and had a pretty aggressive target close date of June 30, and we managed to hit that.”
Rife for disruption
Walsh says the legal industry is set to experience significant disruption in the near future, providing great opportunities for startups.
“The legal market is the last industry sector to be disrupted,” he says.
“Because of the nature of the industry – its aversion to risk and change – it has been difficult for tech to really impact that.”
Walsh says the cash injection will be used to hire a sales team, further develop the tech platform and on a range of marketing initiatives.
While a number of Australian startups focusing on disrupting the legal industry have emerged lately, Walsh says Lawcadia is the only one at the moment focusing on a B2B offering.
“We’re the only company that’s targeting sophisticated businesses,” he says.
“Other platforms and companies are targeting consumers and small businesses with sole practitioners and smaller legal firms, but we’re the only one targeting the larger law firms and sophisticated clients.
“We’ve got a first mover advantage there and now it’s about taking advantage of that.”
Bringing transparency and accountability to the legal process
Through the Lawcadia platform, businesses can post a job offer which then goes out to all registered law firms. The client can then select up to four firms for the next stage.
Once a team is picked, the Lawcadia platform offers financial management tools to keep track of the job, adding an extra level of transparency and accountability to the process, Walsh says.
“That ensures that law firms are keeping that up to date,” he says.
“It’s all about trying to give visibility to clients over future legal spending, and doing that is very challenging at the moment.”
After the job is finished, a two-sided ratings system is used to add another layer of security.
“That’s to introduce accountability for lawyers in terms of the services they offer and the prices they quote,” Walsh says.
“That’s very difficult to achieve in the industry at the moment.”
There are currently 27 law firms registered on the platform, including 11 with 50 or more partners and one with an international presence.
For other founders and entrepreneurs, Walsh says it’s important to be resilient during the fundraising process and seek out all possible leads.
“I think people should be allowing six months for the fundraising process,” he says.
“You need to chase down all the potential financiers and you can’t be disheartened by the ones that say no.
“It does take time to find the right investor for your business who understands your company and values it in the right way.”
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