Monday , August 26 2019

Mike Lynch-backed legal AI startup valued at $100 million


Luminance Technologies Ltd., a UK company that sells artificial intelligence (AI) software that helps lawyers review documents and conduct due diligence, has been valued at $100 million in its latest funding round.
The company said it got $10 million from existing investors, including venture capital firms Invoke Capital and Talis Capital, as well as the law firm Slaughter and May. Luminance has raised a total of $23 million since it was founded in 2015.
Invoke Capital is an investment firm founded by former Autonomy Chief Executive Officer Mike Lynch. US prosecutors charged him with fraud in connection with Hewlett-Packard Co.’s 2011 acquisition of Autonomy. Lynch denied the charges.
Following the US legal action, Lynch stepped down from the boards of other companies Invoke has backed, but he remains on Luminance’s board, the company said. He also remains actively involved with Invoke, the investment firm said.
“Mike Lynch is on the board of Luminance because he brings a rare mix of deep technology understanding and commercial acumen,” Vasile Foca, co-founder and managing partner at Talis Capital, said in a statement.
Emily Foges, Luminance’s CEO, said the firm recently expanded from offering a single due-diligence product for mergers and acquisitions to include others focused on compliance, litigation discovery and real estate.
The company’s software uses a kind of machine learning based on probability theory to automatically sort documents into categories, identify clauses and spot anomalies. The goal is to save law firms and corporate legal departments thousands of hours of human labour. Unlike some forms of AI that require training on large data sets, the kind used by Luminance works without that. The system improves over time, learning from how lawyers adjust categories and label documents and clauses.
Luminance said it has more than 130 customers in over 40 countries, including 14 of the top 100 global law firms and three of the four largest accounting firms. The company currently employs about 70 people in offices in London, Cambridge, New York, Chicago and Singapore.

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