LinkSquares Raises $ 40 million to expand its AI-powered contract platform

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LinkSquares, a contract management and analysis tool for legal and finance teams, announced today that it has raised $ 40 million in a Series B funding round led by Sorenson Capital. The company, whose total funding is $ 61.4 million, says it will use the funding to expand its workforce, advance its technology, and forge strategic business partnerships.

During the pandemic, legal departments and contract negotiations were facing a critical phase of transformation. Legal was expected to provide data-driven analytics while grappling with the gap between running contract analytics platforms and the business process flows for legal inquiries. According to an EY Law survey, more than half of the world’s largest companies face lost revenue and missed business opportunities due to inefficiencies in handling contract processes.

“It was only last year that legal and compliance teams tried to analyze their business exposure to major events in PDFs, paper contracts, and other documents. The pandemic led to a surge in interest from potential customers who needed digital contract management. These companies could no longer afford to use on-premises solutions in an office and they needed our help to ensure a quick and hassle-free remote implementation and we did it, ”said Vishal Sunak, CEO of LinkSquares , by email to VentureBeat.

According to Sunak, the inspiration for LinkSquares came from his experience of manual work related to contracts with the acquisition of business continuity company Datto, which was planned during Sunak’s tenure with Backupify, a cloud data protection company. Datto hoped to migrate Backupify’s customer data to its cloud infrastructure, but the team first had to understand each customer contract signed and determine if Datto had the right to move the data without permission.

Above: The LinkSquares platform.

Photo credit: LinkSquares

“The idea of ​​reviewing every contract, reading the data transfer policy, and saving the response seemed simple at first. With Backupify negotiating more than 2,000 contracts, it was really impossible to find all the contracts and search by the deployment language, ”Sunak said. “When our team examined the types of contract management products available for re-signed contracts, there was a spark of innovation: most of the tools that could provide answers and insights from closed contracts focused mostly on contracts that were not yet in place Pre-signature phase. And so LinkSquares and its AI for signed contracts was born. “

AI-based contract management

LinkSquares’ platform performs cross-document searches for keywords, contract terms and phrases using AI. It extracts data from contracts (e.g. parties, effective and termination dates, payment terms, government states, and restrictions and liabilities) and its email-based notification function reminds teams of important dates and commitments. Optical character recognition converts scanned PDFs into a searchable format, while custom user roles allow administrators to control data access. And a clause library enables real-time searches for contract clauses.

“We’re starting to understand the real standards of what is agreed – and how people agree to it – in their contracts. Since we’re an AI company, we’re starting to see macro trends in legal language, ”Sunak said. “Modern legal teams must be data-driven and go beyond their perception as cost centers and gatekeepers. Business consultants and M&A teams rely on LinkSquares to increase their internal value, reputation, trust and productivity by eliminating the time spent on manual and ineffective processes. “

LinkSquares customers include over 400 brands such as Fitbit, Twilio, TGI Fridays, Wayfair and Cogito. Growth exceeded 1,000% over the past two years, and the company recently announced a technology partnership with Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), the research and development laboratory for laser printing and electronic ink.

“Cogito estimates savings of $ 30,000 per year [with LinkSquares, while] Asurion reduced the time it took to search for information by 50%, ”said Sunak. “We overcame a lot of adversity in the past year – with employees and customers – and we needed a new level of empathy and flexibility for a workforce that was 100% removed overnight. And we had customers who were very uncertain about their financial situation, so I personally worked out something flexible with several of them. Nobody had to decide whether to pay their own employees or keep access to their critical legal knowledge. “

Sunak expects annual recurring revenue for LinkSquares, based in Boston, Massachusetts, to increase 100% year over year by the end of 2021, down from “well over” $ 10 million. Other supporters in the company’s most recent round included Catalyst Investors, Xerox, Bottomline Technologies, the founders of DraftKings and key legal and compliance executives, Hyperplane Venture Capital, MassMutual Ventures and First Ascent Ventures.

There is no shortage of startups developing AI-powered tools for contract creation and management. Others in the $ 2.9 billion market include Concord, which raised $ 25 million in 2019 for its digital contract visualization and collaboration tools. Not to mention Icertis, which recently grabbed $ 115 million; DocuSign, which invested $ 15 million in AI contract recognition startup Seal Software; and Evisort, which raised over $ 15 million to develop its solutions.

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