[Startup Bharat] This legaltech firm helps companies automate contract management with its AI/ML solution

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For most businesses, manually managing contracts such as legal, IT, or finance is not only risky, but also a time-consuming process. Drafting, reviewing contracts, purchasing stamp papers from vendors, printing, physical signing and storage increase the risk of missed deadlines, renewal and non-compliance issues and obligations, says Gautami Raiker, co-founder of The Legal Capsule.

To help companies manage contracts effectively, Gautami and Shravan Hegde founded The legal capsule (TLC) in 2019. The Goa-based startup streamlines and automates the contract management process in one place.

Since its creation, the startup has integrated more than 100 client companies and managed more than 10,000 contracts. Its clients include Bajaj Finserv, HDFC Ergo, MG Motor, Bridgestone, Brevistay, Probus Insurance, Wow Express, Vidcom, relipay and T-hub.

“Most of these organizations have a manual process for managing a contract. They write it up in MS Word and then negotiate over email. Once the e-mails have been exchanged, it is necessary to go through the process of supplying stamp paper from the sellers. Although NCR Delhi has electronic stamping, many states still have manual procurement processes. By mailing the contract out for signature and then storing it in physical format, it becomes very difficult to track renewals,” says Gautami, who founded LawMate.in in 2016.

How did it start?

While working as a legal executive at a startup incubator in Goa, Gautami noticed gaps in the space that could be filled by technology. She met Shravan at the startup incubator and immediately realized that they shared The Legal Capsule’s vision and the solutions it can provide.

“I realized that startups don’t have access to corporate legal services or an understanding of compliance. That’s how I came up with the concept of LawMate.in, which was going to be a one-stop platform for all legal compliances for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” says Gautami.

In 2018, Gautami realized how documentation, especially contracts, is usually handled in an unstructured way by organizations. This gave him the idea for document automation, which resulted in The Legal Capsule.

How it works?

The Legal Capsule is an AI-powered contract lifecycle management platform that helps businesses, especially SMBs and large enterprises, manage contracts on a single platform.

The B2B startup assists in drafting contracts, seeking internal approvals, negotiating clauses with counterparties, e-signing legally binding signatures, e-stamping modules for states in India and storage of these contracts in a single repository.

The platform offers a subscription model to its customers, and the cost of the services provided depends on the volume of contracts that will be managed by the platform and is done on a case-by-case basis.

It uses AI/ML to analyze reported results and offers blockchain-based solutions that capture signatures, live photographs of the document being signed, GPS details, IP address, and date and time of contract signature.

As of now, the startup faces competition from companies like SimpliContract, Plunes, and SpotDraft.

“What sets us apart is clear contract visibility, better negotiation process with automation and an India-specific jurisdiction-based legal process for contract management,” says Gautami.

The market and financing

According to Valuates Reports, the global legal services market was valued at approximately $680 Billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $824 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 2.3% in 2021- 2027.

In May 2022, TLC raised an undisclosed amount from Hyderabad-based SucSEED Indovation Fund and angel investors like S Ramadorai (former CEO of TCS), Kiran Deshpande (former CEO of Tech Mahindra), Ravi Nigam (founder and former Managing Director of Tasty Bite), Shashank Deshpande (Managing Partner at Pentathlon Ventures), Vineet Patni (Managing Partner at Wepartner Consult), Shantanu Deshpande (Founder of Bombay Shaving Company) among others.

“Legal Capsule has more than quadrupled its sales over the past year. It has a massive and growing Total Addressable Market (TAM) equal to $25 billion, which includes a $20 billion e-signature market and a $5 billion contract lifecycle market,” said VVSN Raju, co-founder of SucSEED Indovation Fund, at the time of the funding.

With a team of 14, The Legal Capsule is now looking to raise another round of funding in the current fiscal year. It plans to use the funds for global expansion by integrating companies from around the world.

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