Thursday, 07 February 2019

Luminance valuation hits $100m as Slaughters stumps up in $10m investment round

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Luminance valuation hits $100m as Slaughters stumps up in $10m investment round

UK legal tech leader and Slaughter and May ally Luminance has received further backing from existing investors, propelling the start-up to a $100m valuation.

The AI company boosted its war chest by $10m following further backing from existing investors Talis Capital, Mike Lynch-backed technology investor Invoke Capital and City bluebloods Slaughters.

‘We’ll be spending on people and more people,’ Luminance chief executive Emily Foges (pictured) told Legal Business. ‘When we first landed we acted in one very specific domain – working on due diligence for law firms – but now we act on four different domains and we need people out there selling the product and explaining how it works.’

The initial backing from high-profile billionaire Lynch, who also co-found tech giant Autonomy, as well as early support from Slaughters saw Luminance rise to prominence through a wave of client wins. Currently the company counts more than 120 customers in 39 countries, including 15 of the Global 100 and three of the Big Four accountancy firms. Lynch was recently charged with fraud in the US over the multi-billion pound sale of Autonomy.

Luminance will hope the new funding round will see the company achieve greater penetration at the top end of UK law. Currently, only Slaughters and Eversheds Sutherland have publicly announced their use of the AI company, with firms across Asia and Europe being more frequent adopters.

The latest backing for Luminance also continues a battle among the leading legal tech providers to secure clients at the premium end of UK legal. Contract analysis counterpart Kira has achieved meaningful traction with the City elite and landed $50m in funding last year, bolstering the value of the company to approximately $200m.

‘There is a lot of noise, as there always is,’ Foges said. ‘When we first came onto the scene there were a lot of niche players doing very bespoke work and law firms invested a lot into that, but now they’re coming back to us. Don’t underestimate the impact this can have on the legal profession.’

For more on Luminance and the legal tech battle for the City elite, read here.

thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk