As per the data of Forbes investments in ‘Legal-tech Start-ups’ was 224 million US dollars in 2016, 233 million US dollars in 2017, and a record high of 1 billion US dollars in 2018 in the USA, the trend continued till 2019. The estimation by professionals was that the business is going to hit bed-rock in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Instead, it swore up to 1.2 billion in the third quarter of the year 2020.
How was this possible? When people did not even leave their homes and businesses remained shut, how was there a rise in demand for Legal-tech support? As per Go Daddy’s data, there was a rise of 48% new subscribers, as many businesses went online for the first time. There was an increase in sales of 141% in the year 2020. Once the companies went online disputes between the companies, companies and customers saw a rise in direct proportion. Virtual Chat’s and Video Calls made it easier for people to ask for legal aid.
India is a developing economy and a country of 1.32 billion people while being one of the largest economies of the world. In 2018 itself, there were 1200 start-ups registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1972. Out of which 8, turned out to be Unicorns. USD 151 million was the seed stage funding for Indian start-ups in 2018.
In 2019, the number of start-ups increased to 1300, i.e. a hundred more than the previous year. There were seven new unicorns added to the Indian start-up list. Seed funding in 2019 was USD 252 million. In a decade number of start-ups in India grew from 7k to 55k with a total revenue capital of 2.5 Billion US dollars. Each start-up has to register itself under the Indian Companies Act, 1972. India and other countries, took regressive methods to counter the COVID-19, the lockdown was the immediate step taken by the Indian government. People cheered the government’s move. But eventually, people started to be on the streets as pockets of many got empty. Others took their business online, India had a 27 billion USD dollar market in the year 2019, which is predicted to grow 40% in the calendar year 2020 and is set, to double the billion-dollar mark of 2019.
Companies need legal advice when they move online. Companies hire lawyers to represent them when they need it. Platforms like Zoom, Google Meets, Microsoft teams came as an aid for these companies as they could connect with the lawyers through Video Chats and Virtual Conferencing. When the Court started to hear the cases virtually, a boom came in the market as people relied to depend on the legal aid through a virtual connection.
A Legal- Tech Start-up which is known as ‘Lawyered’ has revealed that it is going to raise 7, crore Indian Rupees in its pre-series funding. The platform aims to bring on board 25,000 lawyers from its current number of 2,000 in the next ten months. They also say that the number will further multiply in the next year. They in their statement said we are now reaching Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. We are not anymore limited to Tier one cities. Co-Founder of the ‘Lawyered’ Himanshu Gupta says we are democratizing the access of the common people to the lawyers across several cities. He said our platform allows individuals, Start-up’s and Small companies to look for the lawyer they need in the varied array of legal fields without any commission or fee. The start-up has already raised 15 million in seed and angel investments.
Thus, “Lawyered probably, could become the first legal start-up to become a unicorn”.
Legal Kart launched in 2019 is one of its kind which offers unique management help through its app for legal professionals that strive to bring a paradigm shift in the legal practising domain. They use cloud computing technology and are the first players in the market. This app desires to help lawyers and law firms manage their legal practices efficiently. This app is available in Hindi and English language.
The question of whether Legal-Tech Start-up has a future in India? Remains unanswered, to answer it, by year-end India will catch sight of a rise in legal start-ups especially after an app launched by ‘Prayagraj High Court’ inaugurated by Hon’ble Mr Justice Dipak Misra, Judge, Supreme Court of India in the presence of Hon’ble the Chief Justice Mr Justice Dilip Babasaheb Bhosale. This app is designed to help people get legal aid at a nominal charge. This app is a path-breaking step in the legal sphere in India. CLAT examination held every year by the ‘CLAT Consortium’ clearing which the aspiring law students get into 22 National Law Schools and other private schools, saw a registration of 75,183 candidates. It signifies the legal growth in India. Lawyers and Start-ups are growing simultaneously in India, which points out the direct proportion of growth between them, especially with a boom in the popularity of corporate law. Indian’s have a sense of unity, the joint family system is popular in India which gives rise to minor issues, legal- tech start-ups can resolve those issues, which will reduce the burden on the courts.
It will almost take a decade to popularize the legal-tech start-up in India. India is poised to be a vital legal market in the world. The right temperament needed is being waited, Legal-tech start-ups will become a billion-dollar industry as India walks on its path to become the world hegemon and a knowledge-based economy. It is not yet achievable but is not a distant dream.
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