Clara, a London-headquartered legal tech startup that was born in Dubai, has raised $2 million in seed funding, the startup announced last week in a statement to MENAbytes. The investment came from Techstars (Clara was part of Techstars Dubai’s second cohort), 500 Startups, and five UAE-based investors including Wamda Capital, VentureSouq, Delta Partners, Shorooq Investment, and Dubai Angel Investors.
Founded last year by the leadership team of Support Legal (that happens to be one of the leading startup law firms of MENA) including Patrick Rogers, Lee McMahon, Hannah McKinaly, Ahmed Arif, and Arthur Guest who had previously led technology of different startups, Clara uses a hybrid model of SaaS platform and a law firm to make legal procedures easy for startups. The yet-to-be-launched SaaS platform digitizes and automates different repetitive tasks that lawyers normally charge for (as the billing by law firms is typically done hourly) including drafting agreements, creation of cap tables, and educating founders on key legal topics.
The platform teaches founders about the gaps in the legal structure of their startup and guides them through the process to address these gaps.
“Clara also automates due diligence summaries and builds data rooms to present a startup’s entire legal structure in a single visual, so legal due diligence will be performed by investors and their lawyers in a fraction of the time it currently takes,” the startup said in a statement.
“When startups need assistance on bespoke matters, such as negotiating a round of financing or incorporating a company, Clara provides on-demand access to a curated marketplace of startup-friendly legal service providers and company registration agents,” it added.
For VCs, accelerators, and incubators, Clara offers a portfolio management tool providing due diligence data in real time enabling investors to run analytics on their investments. The startup is running pilot programs this summer with different channel partners including 500 Startups and Techstars.
Clara won’t be the first one to try and digitize legal procedures for startups. Atrium, a San Francisco-based startup founded by Justin Kan who previously founded Twitch, is also going after the same problem, and there are many others around the world. Atrium having raised over $70 million form star VCs including Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz NEA, Greylock Partners, remains the most notable one.
Patrick Rogers, Co-Founder and CEO of Clara, in a statement, said, “The challenges associated with startup law globally require a unique blend of legal and technological expertise. Our world-class team of lawyers and technologists will create a new customer experience for startup law, which will empower founders, de-risk investors and provide massive savings on legal fees.”
The startup plans to use the investment to build its technology, design and content creation teams and to support international expansion across the key international jurisdictions through which venture capital is deployed globally.
Clara aims to roll out the public release of its platform in October this year.