Lawhive raises $12M to expand its legaltech AI platform for small firms | TechCrunch

Lawhive raises $12M to expand its legaltech AI platform for small firms | TechCrunch

UK-based legal tech startup Lawwive, which offers an AI-based, in-house “lawyer” via a software-as-a-service platform targeted at small law firms, has raised £9.5 million in a seed round ( $11.9 million) has been raised. Driven services for “main street” law firms.

To date, most legal tech startups that have deployed AI have focused on the large, juicy market of “big law” — large law firms that have a presence across the country or globally and use AI as their own. Looking to advance in the workflow. Such startups include Harvey (US-based; $106 million raised), Robin AI (UK-based; $43.4 million raised), and Spellbook (Canada-based; $32.4 million raised). But startups have paid little attention to the thousands of “main street” law firms, which have much smaller budgets and are harder to monetize.

Lawhive targets small law firms or solo lawyers who run their own shops. Lawyers can use its software to onboard and manage their clients, or sign up for Lawhive's marketplace to match individual clients and small businesses.

The startup says it uses a number of core AI models as well as its own in-house software to summarize documents and perform repetitive tasks such as KYC/AML, client onboarding and document collection for both lawyers and their clients. Also applies the model. The company says its in-house AI lawyer, “Lawrence,” is built on top of its own Large Language Model (LLM), which it claims passed the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) with an 81 percent grade. What has passed? 55%

“All of the current legal tech — AI companies like Harvey, Robin AI, or Spellbook — all go after the corporate market,” LaHive CEO and co-founder Pierre Pruner told TechCrunch. “It's a very small number of large law firms in the US or the UK. We're trying to solve the problem in the consumer legal space, which is a completely different and distinct market. It's currently – in the UK – 10,000 small Offered by law firms.”

Pruner said smaller firms have to manage higher costs amid a shrinking market. “They have high staff costs with paralegals, junior lawyers and trainees. They only have one to three real senior lawyers who are making any money. So the model doesn't work. The main street/high street model. There's a huge exodus of mid-career lawyers, and many of them are freelance or self-employed. That's where we've seen a lot of traction.

Although the UK consumer legal market is predictable. £25 billionLike most legal markets, it is groaning under the weight of its costs. This means that approximately 3.6 million people each year have an illegal legal need that involves a dispute, and About a million Small businesses handle legal issues on their own. Hence there is a strong opportunity for automation to help increase the productivity of this sector.

“We combine (our model) with core models from OpenAI and Anthropic, as well as open-source models. But this is our own model, trained on data that we've trained on thousands of cases,” Pruner added. have been able to collect from

The startup plans to use the seed round to enter other markets, per Pruner. “We are looking at other markets that are yet to be publicly disclosed,” he said.

Lawhiev's lead investor for this round may provide some indication of what markets the company is considering: The seed round was led by GV, the US-based venture capital investment arm of Alphabet. Also participating is London-based Episode 1 Ventures, which previously invested £1.5 million in the company in April 2022.

In a statement, Vidu Shanmugarajah, a partner at GV, said, “Through training as a lawyer, I have experienced first-hand the need for technology-driven innovation in the legal sector. Lawhive is both for lawyers and consumers. represents a change for

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