We made this statement at our only appearance at a conference this year. While it’s important to note new events, it helps to color them in context. Later below, there’s an example of why it helps. Now, here are the numbers we tracked, the struggles to get them, and finally, what’s next.
For the first time, not only do we have the totals but also the trends:
- $41.17 Billion in Venture Funding was up 175%;
- $26.36 Billion in Mergers & Acquisitions was down -6.9%;
- 3045 Investors was up 76%.
Ok, so what companies do the numbers above represent? They represent mostly technology companies, that support the law. Legal Tech is what lawyers use, Risk Tech (GRC) helps companies avoid legal issues, and Civic Tech does this for citizens. Each industry has unique economics: CivicTech is largely led by government and politics. RiskTech is driven by finance and economics. LegalTech straddles both worlds. If you like to draw inspiration from examples, check our sister site Legalpioneer.org.
The funding data is still pouring in, so next year we’ll have actual totals and trends. We did an exclusive on M&A for our friends at Legal IT Professional. Here we’ll take a look at investors. Why? This year we registered a seismic shift in the investors landscape. For years, Y Combinator dominated the landscape in the spaces we track. This year they lost the crown to Tiger Global. Moreover, the analysis on Softbank was to rectify an erroneous report, doing the rounds, about their first legal tech investment. Softbank is busy ramping up in key areas and locations, but many just weren’t paying attention to Asia.
Yet, the key metric we are tracking is how much money startups get and therefore, how much they need to compete. The median investment companies received is $3.5 million, up almost 17% this year. This metric takes both growth and seed-stage investments in total. However, the numbers differ wildly depending on location, stage, and investor. Last week, we wowed a Swedish copyright tech startup exploring growth with our new Investor dashboard.
Did we wow everyone? I wish. The most popular post on LinkedIn was my mom receiving a medal from the President of Suriname. Business-wise, launching Spark with our Jus Mundi testimonial, and signing our first Dutch customer with 900+ employees were highlights. Legalcomplex received a bit of love from the locals, and it means the world to me. Nevertheless, we stay focused on getting the data to power your dreams. Here’s what we did thus far:
- 16.683 profiles on Spark Max
- 8.838 on Legalpioneer.org
- 720 Videos on Legalcomplex TV
- 84 Maps on Maps
We did collect 2021 legal tech promo video award winners, so check them. Below are the insights we discovered during 2021:
- We can save our planet, if we set rules and stick to them. Guess who will design and explain the rules on ESG;
- Fundraising is loading debt on companies;
- Its hard to raise cash because volume trumps value when assessing valuation;
- The volume and competition determines the size of the addressable market;
- The market size drives growth, but only if you enter early into areas like copyright;
- If you’re early, perhaps it’s better to bootstrap, as women often need to do;
- Finally, we recommend you follow the numbers and look for context.
In closing, we like to thank a few:
- Caroline Hill and the team from Legaltechnology.com;
- Patrick Fuller, Zach Warren, Victoria Hudgins, and the entire team at Law.com;
- Steve Lerner and team at Law360.com;
- Our friends on LinkedIn, Dutch Legal Tech, and LegalTechStartupFocus.
We’re ramping up for 2022 and our next move: