Clio, a software company that helps law practices run more efficiently with its cloud-based technology, announced on Tuesday that it had signed a $ 110 million Series E co-commissioned by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. and OMERS Growth Equity Has led the round.
The round presents the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company in a one-sided position, valued at $ 1.6 billion. Cleo was last raised in September of 2019 when it brought in $ 250 million in a Series D financing. With the latest funding, Clio claims that it is the “first legal practice management unicorn” globally. The investment also brings an increase in its total capital to $ 386 million since early 2008.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jack Newton says he and Rian Gauveru launched Clio during the 2008 recession, seeing the struggles of solo lawyers and small firms when running a business. Historically, legal practice management software was limited to server-based solutions designed for enterprise businesses – not small law firms, Newton said. Clio was formed to replace it.
“Much like how Microsoft Windows defined operating systems for personal computers decades ago, Clio has developed a software platform for law firms and their clients that is cloud-based and client-focused by design,” Newton he said.
The company’s platform aims to serve as “an operating system” for lawyers, offering cloud-based legal practice management, client intake, and legal CRM software. Clio has more than 150,000 customers in 100 countries. Many lawyers who use Clio are small and solo practitioners, but the company also works at large firms such as Locks Law and King Law.
Newton said his vertical SaaS company helps legal professionals be more productive, develop their firms and “make legal services more accessible.” Its purpose is to help clients find lawyers more easily and vice versa.
Newton had taken a tough stance about the company’s financial position, saying that since 2019, the company has seen “explosive” growth. This growth only pushed the COVID-19 pandemic and all things digital to it. He said that its current assessment was “reasonable”, and achieved through an “intensive” process.
Cleo has focused its core technology on building an industry that has historically relied on pen and paper in many respects. It also aims to make legal technology more affordable for the use of lawyers.
Newton said that the change happened slowly, with COVID-19 forcing lawyers to fundamentally determine how they run their own law firms and provide legal services to their clients.
“Many firms felt that storing customer data in the office was no longer an option as distributed to teams during COVID-19,” he said. “Lawyers and legal professionals who have hesitated to adopt technology in the past are suddenly forced to adapt to this new reality. While this technological change is in reaction to the crisis, it is a permanent change. “
In 2018, Clio made its first acquisition with the purchase of Los Angeles-based legal tech startup Lexicata. The company plans to acquire more with the capital, according to Newton. The company’s plan is to use its new capital to invest in its platform, as well as to continue strategic partnerships. (Currently Clio has partnered with over 150 apps.)
Cleo also, naturally, plans to hire something. In particular, it plans to increase its headcount to 40% or 250 employees, with a focus on advancing its product and engineering teams. (Clio currently has 600 employees.)
“In the next few years we fully intend to deliver legal services and democratize access to legal aid through the cloud,” Newton told ClearTips. “This investment allows us to accelerate our plans and provide even more to our existing customers.”
Clio in particular is growing in EMEA markets with the current focus on the United Kingdom and Ireland.
In a written statement, Mark Shulgan, managing director of OMERS Growth Equity, said his company has been following Clio for years.
“We believe that Clio has clearly established itself as a market-leading legal tech firm, and will provide growth for decades to come,” he said.