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ContractPodAI, an AI-driven provider of contract management solutions, announced today that it raised $ 115 million in a Series C investment led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 to “five times” its valuation compared to July 2019. The round in which Eagle participated Proprietary Investments will focus on product growth and expanding ContractPodAI’s international presence and leveraging SoftBank’s Asia-Pacific network.
Almost all business functions are dependent on legal involvement or expertise. Despite its importance, legalization has been one of the last features to adopt digitization. As of 2017, the price of a base contract was $ 6,900, according to the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management – with about 5 billable hours spent on legal review and up to 18 hours of management and purchasing time.
Founded in 2012 and based in London, ContractPodAI is the brainchild of Sarvarth Misra, a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who sought to digitize legal tools and resources by leveraging off-the-shelf AI technologies. ContractPodAI pairs public cloud services from IBM, Microsoft and others with a code-free interface designed to help teams tackle claims, reviews after proposals, and implement intellectual property portfolios using pre-built and configurable apps.
“The company was founded by Robert Glennie and I, who are both corporate lawyers by background. We recognized the huge market opportunity from legally slower use of technology, ”Misra said in a press release. It was a question of ‘when,’ not ‘if’. But there was no existing technology that was really fit for purpose, so they built ContractPodAI using legal design thinking, which today has evolved into a fully configurable platform for legal teams in their daily work. ”
Injection of contracts with AI
As the pandemic disrupted companies around the world, investors were betting the farm on legal solutions that they predicted would be increasingly digitized. According to Crunchbase, legal technology companies have already seen more than $ 1 billion in venture capital investments so far in 2021, which has shattered the $ 510 million invested in 2020 and the all-time high of $ 989 million in 2019.
The contract management software market alone is expected to increase from $ 1.5 billion in value in 2019 to $ 2.9 billion in 2024 as scaling of legal research, case development and strategy improvement becomes increasingly important. Despite evidence showing that only a small number of law firms use AI-based tools — in a recent survey, 7% of firms said they implemented AI-powered tools by 45% citing accuracy and cost issues — interest in technology continues to grow.
“The pandemic partly accelerated the need for legal digital transformation. Last year we published Advanced Cognitive Search, which [which] helps customers quickly identify force majeure pandemic-related clauses on sales-side and buy-side contracts, ”said Misra. “We [also] released Contract Risk & Compliance, which begins to remove not only manual work for a legal team, but actually helps them in more strategic work. We launched cognitive language translation that enabled global legal teams to work much more coherently in their own native languages. And we introduced a Quick Deploy model that helps get customers started with their fundamental ContractPodAI functionality, such as remote workflow and design. ”
Two hundred ContractPodAI employees offer guided forms and templates for creating legal applications with integrations with products from IBM, Microsoft, DocuSign and Salesforce. Customers receive a toolkit for AI functionality such as document review, cognitive search and analysis for each use case, as well as “tailor-made” AI data models tailored to the module’s purpose.
“When customers upload a contract, the platform’s natural language processing scans the documents and extracts important aspects, such as the renewal dates, termination dates, and so on,” Misra added. “In addition, our contract risk and compliance function offers suggestions on how to reduce risk and track a customer’s progress toward a less risky, more compliant agreement.”
Despite competition from startups such as Lexion, LinkSquares, Malbek, Evisort and DocuSign, ContractPodAI has managed to attract current and former customers, including Bosch Siemens, Braskem, EDF Energy, Total Petroleum, Benjamin Moore and Freeview. In addition to its London office, the startup has outposts in San Francisco, New York, Glasgow, Chicago, Sydney, Mumbai and Toronto.
To date, ContractPodAI has raised over $ 170 million in venture capital.
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