Start me up: Highly-rated legal AI platform Kira secures a record $50m in private equity backing

Start me up: Highly-rated legal AI platform Kira secures a record $50m in private equity backing

In a significant benchmark for the legal tech sector, leading AI platform Kira Systems has sealed $50m of private equity backing from New York-based Insight Venture Partners, as legal tech companies continue to prime for growth.

The investment, announced today (5 September), is the first external backing the AI company has received since its inception in 2011, with ex-Weil Gotshal & Manges associate and co-founder Noah Waisberg and Kira CTO Alexander Hudek initially funding the start-up themselves. The company saw year-on-year revenue growth of more than 100% for 2017.

As part of the deal, Insight’s managing director Peter Sobiloff will join the board at Kira, as the company looks to continue a growth trajectory which has so far seen the team more than double in the last year, from 55 to 115 employees.

The much-touted AI platform already has impressive credentials, with current clients including Clifford Chance (CC), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and DLA Piper.

The investment sees Kira’s machine learning contract analysis system receive the largest backing for a company of this kind.

The fledging legal tech scene has also seen in-house legal fee tracking start-up Apperio secure $10m in funding last month, matching the $10m milestone raised by Luminance in 2017. Meanwhile, AI counterparts Eigen Technologies secured £13m in investment in June this year, as ever-increasing sums are invested into the sector.

Despite the scale of the investment, Waisberg and Hudek will retain a majority stake in the company, which now considers growth the immediate and long-term aim.

Waisberg told Legal Business: ‘We already had significant money to invest in the business and this helps us to make more aggressive investments to create the product we want. There is a lot of investment capital looking for a good home. We will be seeing more and more tech start-ups in the future.’