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Online legal platform for small businesses Lawpath, on Tuesday, announced that it has closed an AUD $7.5 million raise as it sets its sight on launching into New Zealand and South-East Asia to help more small businesses access legal solutions at one-tenth of the cost of traditional services.
The round sees a number of new investors back the company including the Gonski family, Justin Ryan of Adore Beauty, Barry and Darren Smorgon’s Sandbar Investments, and Tony Faure of both Ooh! Media and Readytech. The US-based investors including the director of LegalZoom, Khai Ha, and the founding partner at Kobe Bryant’s VC fund, Bryant Stibel, Gonzalo Troncoso have also contributed to the raise. They join returning investors including Adcock Private Equity and LegalZoom, which led Lawpath’s last round in 2019.
Additional investors include UAE-based Aditum Investment Management, Ben Keeble of E&P Capital, Peter Oey of Grab, and MFO Investments.
“When I was working as a lawyer, I saw first-hand the issues that businesses face with the legal system,” said Dominic Woolrych, chief executive officer, Lawpath. “Currently, 87 percent of small businesses do not seek legal advice due to cost or access issues. There are many legal transactions that happen every day that small businesses don’t seek legal advice on simply because they can’t afford to and it’s leaving them unprotected. This is why we launched Lawpath 6 years ago. Small businesses access accounting, banking, and finance solutions via online platforms, and legal should be no different. We’ve created a service that means businesses can have unlimited access to legal help for the same price as their monthly broadband fee.”
Lawpath already has over 230,000 platform users and helps form 5 percent of new companies in Australia.
“With the new funds, we’ll be able to continue helping more businesses have access to legal protection across the region,” stated Tony Faure, chairman, oOh! Media and ReadyTech, and will join Lawpath’s board as its chairman, “I invested in Lawpath because I’m a huge advocate of the company, the platform, the people, and the incredible growth. I love its mission to democratize law so much that I wanted the opportunity to be a part of it too. The investment in products to help small businesses access legal support is critical during these turbulent post-COVID times. Lawpath is the right company and platform to be the defining small business legal platform in the Asia Pacific.”
Small businesses are deeply disadvantaged when it comes to accessing justice because it is not typically affordable or accessible to them. The legal industry is commonly known as an information monopoly where small businesses typically pay by the hour. Lawpath’s subscription-based model provides customers with affordable access to online tools, workflows, legal documents, and on-demand lawyers, the platform further shared.
“Lawpath’s success to date is testament to not just the viability of their business model but a broader need for greater access to affordable legal services for SMBs. Lawpath is backed by an incredible team, with industry know-how and a passion to help businesses grow, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this new chapter brings for the company,” added Justin Ryan, co-founder, Glow Capital Partners, and chair, Adore Beauty.
“Lawpath has shown the great potential of technology to help SMBs access much-needed services that would otherwise be out of reach,” commented Darren Smorgon, managing director, Sandbar Investments. “I’m pleased to be a part of Lawpath’s journey and mission to help more businesses across the region access affordable legal services. They have already helped hundreds of thousands of businesses in Australia and I believe this is just the beginning.”
Lawpath plans to double its current team of 40 people over the coming months, with a focus on its product and software teams as it becomes a household name in Australia and pushes into new markets.