A start-up created by an ex-City lawyer helps lawyers and clients visualise complex legal structures and transactions, is in a new funding round having already raised £2m.
StructureFlow also this week joined City giant Allen & Overy’s incubator, Fuse. This comes after being a part of Slaughter and May’s incubator, Collaborate last year.
Tim Follett, StructureFlow’s founder and chief executive said a lot of lawyers were “visual”. But until now, lacked the means to communicate their visual side.
“A lot of the language used by lawyers is quite visual, such as a waterfall of payments or an equity ratchet. These are visual metaphors suited to diagrammatic representation. When you talk to people about deals, you can see they have an image in their mind’s eye. It has been very difficult until now to take that image and map it into something that can be used and shared with other people.”Tim Follett, CEO at StructureFlow
Mr Follett qualified at and worked for Slaughter and May, before moving to Farrer & Co. He set up StructureFlow in 2017.
He said the software had been piloted by Norton Rose Fulbright and Slaughter and May – a pilot which was continuing.
Visualise complex information
Mr Follett said he had always been “quite a visual person” and in his personal practice had always relied on diagrams.
“I saw that the ability to tell a story in a legal context is frustrated by the lack of software to do it.”
He said traditional methods of showing diagrams, such as whiteboards and PowerPoint took “a huge amount of time and effort” to deliver.
“At the heart of projects there is a corporate and legal structure. StructureFlow allows users to be able to understand it, visualise it and change it.”
Three other major law firms, which he did not want to name, are using it too.
“We want to get as many law firms on board as we can. There is the potential here to create a common platform to visualise deals. We’re at the start of that journey.”
Mr Follett said StructureFlow was in the middle of its third funding round. It has raised £1.8m so far, mainly from angel investors. Innovate UK had also provided funding of £130,000.
The start-up has a team of six in London and one in Singapore. Mr Follett said it had looked “east rather than west” and “had not done much in the US”.
StructureFlow was talking to a number of law firms in Singapore and Australia. Asian investors had a “real appetite to invest in new technology”. The US in contrast had a “historic cautiousness” about cloud-based products like this.
To use live data and work with law firms, Mr Follett said the company obtained ISO 27001 last year.
He said the start-up charged lawyers, whether in private practice or in-house, on a subscription basis, with reduced prices for larger numbers of subscribers.
Mr Follett also added that many in the legal and financial sectors were “slow to innovate and embrace visual technology”. And it has “never been more important to get across complex information in a visual way”.
Other companies in the fourth cohort joining Fuse
- BRYTER, helps lawyers to automate their expert knowledge by using a no-code platform to build, manage and sell interactive applications;
- Serein AI, which helps clients to automate the review and mark-up of routine legal contracts using AI;
- Orbital Witness, helps investors, developers, lenders and their professional advisors gain greater visibility into issues impacting value, liquidity and intended use of a real estate asset or portfolio. This is by creating a universal risk rating system for property transactions; and
- Clara, helps founders with many of the processes currently performed by lawyers. Including incorporating companies, drafting agreements, building capital tables and structuring data rooms.
This article originally appeared on Legal Futures. Our Founder, Tim Follett sat down with Nick Hilborne to share our story of how we can help legal and financial services professional visualise complex structures.
For more updates on StructureFlow, please check out our News section.