Any entrepreneur knows that capital is – more often than not – a crucial ingredient for successful innovation. Great ideas alone cannot bring about long-term growth, so the efficient use of capital (whether raised or generated) is critical. Among the major – and indispensable – startup costs for legal tech companies are personnel, equipment, work space (home or an office), and permits, licences, and other ongoing compliance costs. The absence of any of these expenses in the long run is detrimental to the company and is no way to conduce sustainable growth. Raising capital to meet these costs, therefore, is imperative if continued and impactful innovation is the goal.
To assist companies in this regard, I have compiled below a list of legal tech investors in India with links to their websites and some brief notes on companies they have invested in.
1. Stellaris Venture Partners
Established in 2016, Stellaris Venture Partners is a technology-oriented venture capital firm with locations in both Bangalore and Delhi. Along with Kalaari Capital, the company has provided seed funding of 24 crore rupees to Signzy, as well as many other founders. Signzy is a platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain to assist banks, nonbank financial companies, and other financial institutions with digital compliance.
2. Kalaari Capital
Kalaari Capital is a Bangalore-based advisory team that invests in budding technology-oriented startups. They are one of the leading legal tech investors in India. One of its investments was in the legal tech startup, Vakilsearch, totalling 11 crore rupees in March 2016 made with Dr. Agarwal’s Group. Vakilsearch provides legal services, such as drafting rental and employment agreements, and mainly focuses on business clients.
3. TiE Angels Mumbai
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a Mumbai based setup owned by Sanjay Mehta and Dewang Narella. It facilitates stage funding for tech startups. They have recently extended funding of 25 lakhs rupees to IPHawk, who secured the funding through TiE’s annual flagship funding. This startup uses AI to monitor and detect IP threats, and provides legal assistance for clients to respond to these threats.
4. Indian Angel Network
Indian Angel Network is a Delhi-based platform that provides funding to early-stage startups. Founded in 2006, it has a well-networked team of around 450 members. It has made many angel investments in startups, such as Propelld, Knudge.me, PregBuddy, and Pandorum. Recently, it gave seed funding to LawRato. This is an online platform that helps connect clients with lawyers to mobilise access to professional legal advice.
5. JSS Step Business Incubator, Noida
JSS Step Business Incubator is India’s first technology-based incubator, set up by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). They have graduated over 100 startups and are currently incubating over 30. Towards the end of 2019, it made a seed investment of 20 lakh rupees in mLeAP, an AI-enabled legal analytics platform.
6. Mumbai Angels Network
The Mumbai Angels Network was established in 2006 and typically invests in tech-based platforms. It has a team of around 300 members and has offices in several cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. The organisation has recently invested into Gurugram-based startup Leegality, which is an e-signing and digital document workflow platform.
7. Calcutta Angels Network
The Calcutta Angels Network mainly provides funding to technology-based startups in West Bengal and surrounding regions. It recently collaborated with Mumbai Angel Networks and, along with other investors, has made an investment in MyAdvo, a platform that connects individuals with lawyers.
Udaan is a B2B e-commerce platform that provides funding for small and medium enterprises. Just this year, it funded Vakilsearch, the above-mentioned online platform for legal, tax and compliance services.
9. WaterBridge Ventures
WaterBridge Ventures is another platform that provides funds to entrepreneurs working primarily in tech-based startups. It recently invested 3 crore rupees in Legitguest, which has developed a legal search engine that uses artificial intelligence and neural networks to organise and structure masses of legal information.
10. 021 Capital
021 Capital is a venture capital firm that mainly invests in tech-based startups, and is backed by Binny Bansal, one of India’s most famous internet entrepreneurs. 021 Capital recently led a funding round in Gurugram-based startup, SpotDraft. This is an end-to-end contract lifecycle management platform, helping businesses automate their contract analysis, management and creation processes.
Know more about legal tech investors in India
With legal tech investors being so critical to the success of legal tech startups in India (and elsewhere), we will continue to cover investor news and provide advice to companies looking for funding. You can stay in the loop with the investment news and other developments in the Indian legal tech ecosystem by subscribing to the ILT newsletter.