While valuations of public software-as-a-service companies have been hammered lately as investors cool on the sector amid a broader post-pandemic tech stock sell-off, SaaS startups have yet to lift funds to scale their fledgling businesses – or, well, they hope they can do so on reasonable terms despite these broader market shocks.
Today, London-based Legl – a SaaS startup founded in 2019 that sells tools to law firms wanting to digitize processes and automate workflows in areas such as client onboarding, payments and compliance to support a more modern customer experience – announces the closing of an $18 contract. million Series B, just over a year after raising a Series A of $7 million.
The Series B was led by several technology investors, including existing investor Octopus Ventures (which led its Series A), although Legl did not specify other backers in the round. Previously disclosed investors in the company include Backed, Samaipata and First Round Capital, as well as a number of Angels.
The startup says it has grown its customer base from around 100 UK-based law firms in March 2021 to more than 170 now – which it says includes 20 of the top 200 firms in the country.
It will use Series B to kick off planned international expansion, focusing on other markets where its UK customer base has offices and investing money in product development and hiring.
“There is a global opportunity for law firms to run their businesses in a more modern, efficient, revenue-generating and client-friendly way. We are working with our customer base to begin expanding to their international offices which are in several different geographies,” said Founder and CEO, Julia Salasky.
“Over the past year, we have developed our vision for a new category in the legal space – client lifecycle management – by investing in the underlying CRM that enables non-law firms not only to digitize previously manual business workflows throughout the customer lifecycle, but also to better understand their customer base.We leveraged our core competencies in risk management, compliance, payments and finance , enabling law firms to undertake both activities that affect their regulated business processes, but also to improve cash flow and provide a better client experience.
“With the new funding, we will expand our workflow-driven approach to managing business operations and focus in particular on how law firms can generate faster revenue, better and risk-free financial management. and a better customer experience. We already enable law firms to manage much of their customer base and payment stack and plan to develop more capabilities for more firms in the coming months,” she adds.
Salasky, whose name may also be familiar as the former founder of the CrowdJustice platform, tells us that Legl has seen 3x revenue growth over the past year and 150% net revenue retention. , suggesting that its SaaS is proving a hit with law firms.
She refuses to disclose the startup’s valuation for Series B but confirms the raise was definitely do not one turn down.
“It’s a big round for us! Last round, last year we raised $7m and this is an $18m round (closed in this new funding climate!), building on revenue growth and the momentum we had,” she notes.
Examining whether the SaaS startup is feeling an impact from a broader market cooling on tech stocks and SaaS, she adds: “Law firms are notoriously countercyclical businesses, so they don’t tend to suffer as much as companies. traditional businesses in the event of a slowdown. But in general, what we see is that as we demonstrate increased value to law firms and drive better core business operations, we become more valuable, 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 most actions have focused on contract management or other targeted ‘point solutions’, while Legl aims to set itself apart by offering a more holistic platform for law firms to build capacity. to serve customers by providing them with a suite of digital tools capable of automating and supporting their business operations. This frees up in-house expertise to focus more on core legal work.
“There is an explosion of investment in contract management and other areas where substantive legal work could be improved. But what we do at Legal takes a different approach – we focus on the business of law, on running a complex regulated business that has customers at its heart, and where to date there has been very little cloud-based technology” , she suggests .
Commenting on the Series B in a statement, Malcolm Ferguson, investor at Octopus Ventures, added: “We are delighted to continue to support Julia and the team in their mission to free up time for lawyers to focus on the creating value for their customers. . The company has experienced very strong growth over the past 12 months and is positioned to become the go-to solution for law firms looking to modernize and automate their non-essential work. Not only does this improve a law firm’s revenue and margins, but [it] also means they can provide a significantly better experience for their customers. We are excited to see what Julia can accomplish with this funding over the next few years.