peace

a world at peace
Why I left my job? To power world peace
Why I left my job? To power world peace 1024 542 Raymond Blijd

If I could ever offer a small contribution to world peace, then this data-driven approach may be my best chance yet.

Sentry Syria is an early warning system for air strikes based on crowdsourced intelligence. It is one of the 170 CivicTech examples harvested in the Legalpioneer dataset. Bark, another company in this category, is battling cyberbullying and also registered as one of the best-funded CivicTech ventures of 2018. Finally, Google pledged about $300 million to fight fake news. But considering its revenue of $31 billion, it hardly seems enough compared to the damage misinformation can inflict on its customers.

Conflicts usually start with a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Nowadays our communication channels aren’t private but ruled by commercial interests. Channels that tyrants can purchase to bully citizens and eliminate dissent. If we could avoid being misled and expose bullying at any level, maybe we wouldn’t need air strike warning apps.

While the above CivicTech enterprises offer us a graphic example, LegalTech and RiskTech usually camouflage their impact on a fair society. They’re technologies that infuse the law across industries and help them to distinguish right from wrong. They ensure legal principles are embedded into operating systems. Principles like privacy by design or decentralizing authority aren’t just efficient, they are essential human rights. If we don’t implement them we’ll end up confused and at war with each other when using any service.

We now have more data and facts at our disposal than at any time in human history. We have better communication channels and more computing power than any generation before us. Maybe we just need a smarter way to find the best ideas and concepts that help keep us safe. With an analytical approach to constructing a startup idea, maybe we can insert more civility across services we use daily. I sincerely believe a world, not at war is a good long term investment. And we can incentivize those who pioneer peace in their respective areas.

We started looking for pioneers in 2016 and collecting data. Now we have gathered enough to start building a tool to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs that aim to build an ethical aware enterprise.

What if we had a way to craft and then test unique business ideas. What if you could benchmark your concept against a dataset of over 7000 startups. Find similar ventures based on market, location, and technology. By matching existing companies, to your own startup, you can calculate costs and estimate the investment needed. Imagine a tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors based on mentions and traffic. Finally, an app where you can shop for pricing, terms, use cases, business models and customers on comparable companies. Wouldn’t it be magical if it helps you craft a pitch, generate a business plan and slide deck in just 3 clicks?

Thanks to Nathalie Dijkman, the new incubator at the Amsterdam Law Hub from the University of Amsterdam will be one of the first to pilot this platform. It may hopefully inspire fresh minds to strategize their ideas, estimate their value and tweak until it is unique. By providing a statistical basis we can empower pioneers to contribute to the impossible: world peace.

Why now? Our numbers show that legal startups have been declining for a second year in a row. Moreover, funding of legal ventures is skewed towards mature later stage companies that only tend to serve traditional models.

After realizing the potential impact and the work that lay ahead, I couldn’t treat this as a side project any longer. This cause matters so it deserves to be a mission with a full-time dedication. I’m one startup willing to help more start up and keep the peace.

Will you join me?

ODR
Unexpected Trends of 2017 in LegalTech: Peace, Privacy & Party
Unexpected Trends of 2017 in LegalTech: Peace, Privacy & Party 721 797 Raymond Blijd

Our 2016 year review hinted Artifical Intelligence and Blockchain would make all the noise in 2017. However, this year’s data revealed three other signals which appeared on our radar.

Peace

We released a live sheet with now 78 CivicTech initiatives and an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) dashboard. At one point this year CivicTech was the most valuable market in the Legalpioneer dataset. If CivicTech is the technology for policing our society, then ODR will be our court of justice. The main reason ODR appeared on our radar this year is the fact that out of 4 startups we registered using Blockchain to settle disputes, 3 of these were founded in 2017.

The political events this year have demonstrated how fragile a fair society is. How easy it is to lose stability in communities. And how expensive it has become for peace to prevail. CivicTech and ODR may be two ways to reclaim some civility and make our lives great again.

Privacy

In order to find startups in the Data Protection (GDPR) and Privacy space, we analyzed 197 providers of GDPR solutions and found 68 that fit our profile. Similar to what we had noticed in ODR, the dataset revealed a 100% growth of Blockchain startups in 2017. If you were to rank ODR, GDPR, Intellectual Property (IP), and Blockchain as separate markets, GDPR is the second largest based on a total investment of $151 million in startups founded after 2010.

However, it is not the reason privacy surfaced in our analysis, it was data indicating a polar opposite trend.

Payment provider Wepay did a study among small business owners to find out their single biggest problem: Fraud. RiskTech startups founded after 2010 which focus on fraud prevention by Knowing Your Customer (KYC) have a combined total investment of $1.5 billion.

Are you worried that your data may be stolen and appear on the dark web? This startup has you covered. But if you like online shopping, want to quickly get insurance or credit, be prepared to get naked.

Party

If PrivacyTech is the second largest market in LegalTech, Intellectual Property Tech (IPTech) is number #1 with approximately $1.2 billion invested.

Kobalt Music this year became the most funded ($805 million) LegalTech Company ever. United Masters is less than a year old and raised the current highest seed ($70 mln) of any LegalTech startup since 2016. By comparison, DoNotPay got $1.1 million seed in a seemingly bigger legal market with fewer competitors. Spotify spent over $150 million acquiring various AI (Niland) and Blockchain (Mediachain) startups to help it respectively find and managed music copyrights.

We mentioned before that LegalTech did not produce the profitable exits for investments. The exception is music copyright startups and they are leading the way once more in showing how lucrative the entertainment industry really is.

Finally, you can stop wondering where the party at.

Produce

To sum this all up: scholars called religion the earliest version of Virtual Reality (VR). If so then the Rule of Law is the most powerful VR game ever created. That is why we need CivicTech and ODR to keep the cheats in check.

We have given Google and Facebook more information about ourself then we may realize, just to find what we need or connect with our friends. Yet we are on the verge to volunteer more data for the convenience of online commerce. We won’t mind sacrificing our privacy for a discount and we’ll always click “Ok” to proceed to get what we want.

All this relentless automation will naturally lead to more leisure. Time we’ll use to indulge our creativity and be entertained. This will produce an economy of art that will rival the Renaissance. Some are already cashing in so let the party begin..

Stay tuned: we’ll wrap up this year on Christmas Eve with our 2017 review:

2017: Year of The Records, The Recognition, & The Reckoning.