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AI-powered legal spellchecker: Luminance bags $40M for US expansion

Luminance founder
Picture credits: Luminance

Luminance, a Cambridge-based legal-grade AI startup has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round. The investment was led by Santa Monica-based growth-stage venture firm, March Capital, with participation from National Grid Partners and other existing investors, including Slaughter and May. 

This latest funding round will be used to drive Luminance’s global growth and expand its footprint in the US as the company continues to drive unprecedented innovation and leadership in the legal AI market. 

Founded by Eleanor Weaver in 2015, Luminance AI is built on a proprietary legal Large Language Model (LLM). It brings AI to every touchpoint a business has with its documents from instantly flagging non-standard clauses in any incoming contract in Microsoft Word and suggesting preferred language to automatically identifying areas of non-compliance and key terms, obligations and dates in all executed agreements.

It automates the generation, negotiation and analysis of contracts and other legal documents for a rapidly growing customer base spanning 600 organisations in 70 countries, from global manufacturers such as Koch Industries, Hitachi and Yokogawa, to insurers including Liberty Mutual, as well as pharmaceutical giants such as LG Chem.

Achievements in AI

As per the company, its technology has been used in a number of world-firsts for AI. In late 2023 during a live demonstration to the BBC, Luminance became the first AI in the world to completely automate the negotiation of a contract, without human intervention, between two opposing parties. Luminance was also the first use of AI at London’s highest criminal court, the Old Bailey, where it allowed counsel to cut the time spent reviewing evidence by four weeks.

“The past 12 months have seen huge technical achievements from our Cambridge R&D hub. Developments such as ‘Auto Mark-Up’, which brings agreements into line with gold standards in a click, and AI-powered tools for non-legal teams to independently negotiate contracts, make Luminance the most advanced legal LLM available today,” said Eleanor Lightbody, CEO of Luminance. “This latest round of funding will help us to bring our technology to new markets, strengthen our foothold in the United States where Luminance now generates over one third of its revenue, and solidify our position as the clear market leader in this space.” 

Hyun Koo, Partner at March Capital, added: “We invest in AI-native companies solving large, mission critical problems. Given the inefficiencies and complexity that exist today in legal workflows, we immediately saw the potential for Luminance to drive efficiency with its industry leading LLM. Luminance’s breadth of enterprise customers speaks to its capabilities, and we are thrilled to partner with their highly technical and growth-minded team to help build a successful, leading and global legal AI company.” 

Ian Cooper, Managing Director at National Grid Partners, stated: “The power and utilities sector, as a regulated industry, deals with a vast amount of legal and contractual documentation. Luminance’s innovative legal LLM and advanced AI assistant shows great promise in being able to relieve contract processing bottlenecks and enhance contract performance monitoring. We’re optimistic that Luminance’s platform will be a valuable tool for power and utilities customers.” 

Sally Wokes, Partner at Slaughter and May, said: “As an early investor in Luminance, we have always seen the vision for the technology and the business. It is fantastic to see the market validating our belief in the ground-breaking innovation that the company is bringing to the sector. AI is having a significant impact on the legal landscape, and it is rewarding to see Luminance having established itself as the leader in the market.”

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