Legal technology saw many advancements in 2021, as the still flourishing industry saw increased activity, Reuters reported on Wednesday (December 29).
Legal technology involves businesses creating a variety of tools and services for law firms, corporate legal departments, and consumers. The industry includes products for eDiscovery, legal spend analysis, lawyer selection, document review and contract management.
LegalZoom.com, CS Disco and Intapp have all been the subject of initial public offerings (IPOs) this year, and several legal technology companies have attracted venture capital and private equity investors. Some of their fundraising rounds have reached hundreds of millions.
Reuters reported that the three companies that went public all cater to different industries – LegalZoom works in consumer legal services, Intapp works in professional services software, and CS Disco works in eDiscovery.
Meanwhile, Clio and Everlaw have each achieved unicorn status with new valuations of over $ 1 billion. There have also been numerous mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the industry, which analysts say indicates a rising industry.
Related: APIs tackle law firm collections conundrum
Scott Mozarsky, managing director of mergers and acquisitions consultancy JEGI Clarity, said 2021 has seen a much larger amount of capital in the legal market and that investor appeal has grown in recent years.
Some of the additional factors behind this growth could include greater use of technology due to a pandemic, according to Reuters, with law firms joining the many diverse industries doing more work online.
“The pandemic has certainly brought to light technological capabilities that some legal professionals would never have proactively sought out,” said Lucy Bassli, founder and director of the consulting firm InnoLaw Group PLLC and former deputy general counsel for Microsoft Corp.
In November, LegalZoom partnered with Square on a new payment product, with the intention of getting better point-of-sale (POS) payment software for small businesses.
LegalZoom customers can now take advantage of preferential pricing on Square offers, which can help small businesses better manage their operations.
Read more: Square, LegalZoom team on the SMB payment solution