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London Tech Week

Legal tech Hence raises $1.8M in seed funding to change how companies hire lawyers

Hence AI

Legal tech start-up, Hence, has just concluded a seed funding round, raising $1.8M. It was made possible by high-profile angel investors and institutions, including serial investor Daglar Cizmeci, Nate Dalton’s Daybreak Partners and Broad Creek Capital.

This fundraise brings the total raised by the company to over $2.7M, following a $900,000 funding round by angel investors. Hence is now bringing its legal services relationship management software platform to market, following two successful pilots with global multinationals. The platform will be rolled out to in-house legal teams at many more US and European multinationals in 2022.

Successful pilots and further deployment

Hence became an initial member of Palantir’s Foundry for Builder’s program, last year, acquiring access to a world-class platform that underpins its cutting-edge software. The start-up’s customers now have access to unmatched data security as well as scalability options and integrations from the first day of signing up.

Crucially, Hence can offer the scale and depth of Palantir’s robust technology at an affordable cost to law departments. The relationship between Hence and the renowned US tech company reflects the potential of the Hence platform.

Hence’s platform has been successfully deployed in partnership with various multinationals,  including the leading global corporate services provider for some of America’s largest investment companies. This partnership was able to demonstrate Hence’s product meeting a great need across the corporate world, justifying the need for its further roll out.

Innovating and disrupting the professional services industry

Hence was founded in 2020 by Steve Heitkamp, Sean West and Arun Shanmuganathan. Heitkamp brought experience from the innovative data analytics giant, Palantir. West worked with many top CEOs, consulting on risk and Shanmuganathan, a mathematician, previously worked in the computer science faculty at the African Leadership University.

Their previous working experiences had the trio observe that many corporations had no way of collating their previous experiences with legal services. This often resulted in poor decision making in hiring legal representatives.

On a much broader scale, it was observed that the average Fortune 500 company, for instance, spends nearly $200M a year on lawyers alone. Selection criteria are often based on lawyers’ branding and referrals, as opposed to hard data. Hence wants to change this approach to the professional services industry, empowering those who need to buy legal services to make the right choices for their business.

Better, data and AI-powered, decision making

Hence is an AI-powered platform that aims to bring transparency and productivity to professional services, by leveraging its precision matching engine to ensure the right lawyer is selected for the right matter, every time.

Owing to its intuitive user experience, companies can search by the firm, person, matter, location, expertise and spend at the touch of a button. They can also access relevant details as well as historical case data about their chosen lawyer. This creates a frictionless data experience for its clients.

“Even the most innovative companies buy knowledge services like legal the same way they did 100 years ago, through referrals and gut instinct. Hence empowers Chief Legal Officers, General Counsels and their teams with the data and analysis they need to evaluate and make the right decisions for their organisations across hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. The platform helps companies to draw insights from their own data for their own purposes, meaning that the person buying legal services will get an unbiased view and will also be able to better manage performance with trusted advisers.” remarked Sean West, co-Founder of Hence.

Talent sourced globally

Hence has been based in London while also maintaining a hub in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. The latter city, defined as an emerging tech hotspot, sprawling with high-quality engineering talent and a rapidly expanding tech ecosystem provided a great opportunity to fast-track Hence’s growth. 

Hence now plays an active part in the Rwandan tech ecosystem. It encourages early-stage companies to view themselves as capable of creating globally relevant solutions. Hence has built out a world-class team in Kigali that benefits from best-in-class salary, benefits and equity packages. This investment bolsters the commitment to Rwanda as the company’s tech hub.

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