Capital injection cements international growth for Kiwi legal tech company
Capital investment to the tune of nearly $4 million will enable one of New Zealand’s most successful legal tech start-ups to further grow its overseas business.
LawVu recently secured a $3.65 million investment, the round led by high-profile international Kiwi businessman and philanthropist Kent Gardner, as well as investment from Icehouse Ventures.
This capital injection will enable LawVu to leverage business opportunities in overseas markets, including Australia and the US, where it is in the process of setting up offices.
LawVu is a cloud-based software platform for managing the way corporate legal teams work: everything from triaging inbound requests to managing contracts and to collaborating with outside counsel on complex projects. The software allows in-house legal teams to more effectively manage their operations, which in turn provides key insights and data.
LawVu co-founder and CEO Sam Kidd explains the huge potential for LawVu.
"The corporate legal market is worth US$160 billion in the US alone. Amazingly, Legal is the last significant function in the enterprise without a dedicated platform for managing their work, which is not only inefficient but risky, and it can become costly not to have better systems.
“LawVu is now filling this gap and enabling corporate legal teams to get better visibility across the enterprise, as well as providing metrics and reports that previously they were unable to produce.”
LawVu’s clients include multi-nationals such as Telstra, James Hardie, Nissan, Zespri and Fonterra. Significantly, LawVu has been chosen by PWC as a global partner, their technology now being offered to legal teams around the world. The latest injection of new capital will allow LawVu to further grow this relationship, thus providing their software to an increasing number of the world's leading businesses.
Lead investor, Kent Gardner, who started his career as a lawyer at Russell McVeagh in New Zealand, has dealt with lawyers across the globe during the last 20 years in business. He says he is amazed that technology advances in other sectors were only now starting to be seen in the legal space.
“LawVu has created world-leading software which is in demand from the world’s largest businesses. 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.”
Kidd added that having someone with Gardner’s experience on board had significantly strengthened LawVu’s advisory team. “Being able to quickly bounce ideas off someone who has gone through similar business challenges is a huge asset to the company.”
As part of the latest round, Kidd and business partner Tim Boyne had also been keen to secure New Zealand venture capital investment.
“We’re thrilled that Icehouse Ventures also took part in this round,” said Kidd. “Their investment gives us access to valuable skills and expertise as well as extensive business networks throughout New Zealand and overseas.”
Icehouse Ventures CEO Robbie Paul says LawVu is an exceptional example of a Kiwi company taking on the world.
“We love the combination of a product that solves a genuine problem, with customers around the world validating the scale of the problem. Enterprise software start-ups like LawVu thrive when they are led by founders who are super customer-centric, obsessed with building great product, and relentless in their pursuit of new customers. These characteristics can be found in droves with Sam and Tim.”
Established in 2015, LawVu had already raised $1.6 million through previous funding rounds. In just five years, LawVu has grown its customer base from a handful of New Zealand businesses to multinational companies throughout Australia, US, Canada, Germany and the UK.
LawVu is in the process of recruiting new staff to support its business growth. The company currently employs 23 people. Half the team is based in LawVu’s Tauranga headquarters, with other staff in Australia, Ireland and the US.