Legal ops company LawVu has completed a $3.65 million funding round, valuing it at almost $20 million as it signs top-tier corporate clients.
The tech start-up, which focuses on legal operations in the cloud, said it had recently signed Telstra, James Hardie, Fonterra and Zespri as clients.
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LawVu's software manages in-house legal team's workloads, aiming to cash in on the burgeoning legal operations discipline worth US$160 billion.
Legal departments around the world have been responding to demands to control more work in-house and set-up their own equivalents of what external firms call practice managers. Technology has been a key part of this, and LawVu is viewed as equivalent to lawyers as Xero and SalesForce have become to accountants and salespeople.
The $3.65 million capital raising was led by former Russell McVeagh lawyer turned investor Kent Gardner. London-based Gardner, who is chief executive of Evans Randall Investors, will join the company's advisory team.
Gardner said he was amazed that technology advances in other sectors were only now starting to be seen in the legal space.
"Given the rigour that you expect from the world's best in-house legal teams, I'm excited that LawVu has recently won a number of global tenders to provide its software and services."
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Co-founder Sam Kidd said the round included about $400,000 from IceHouse Ventures. Other investors were involved, but he would not give more details as to who invested how much.
Last year, the Tauranga-headquartered start-up signed a deal with PwC to see it's product rolled out to the accounting giant's clients across the world.
The company employs 23 people and had raised $1.6 million in previous funding rounds. It plans another funding round later this year.
Kidd, a former director and shareholder of Irish tech darling teamwork.com, told BusinessDesk the funding round would enable the company to expand as it sets up offices in Australia and the US.
"It's about building the machine, now we've proved that the market is looking for our product globally, and we have clients in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. This round is about cementing what we are doing."