Deloitte Legal is today announcing the launch of Deloitte Legal Ventures, a new programme that re-imagines how lawyers engage with early stage companies.
Nearly 400 pre-seed to Series A companies were analysed and evaluated based on their products, teams and alignment to Deloitte Legal’s current and future legal technology capability. Following this extensive analysis, 14 companies were hand-selected to form the first cohort of the Deloitte Legal Ventures programme.
The chosen companies operate in areas such as execution technology, artificial intelligence, data analytics and predictive analytics. The programme will see Deloitte Legal become a user of the products and services offered by the chosen start-ups.
Deloitte Legal Ventures will provide the companies with access to consulting, technology, legal and investment experts from across Deloitte. Through Deloitte’s proprietary Venture Path methodology, these experts will stress-test products, services, business models and strategies in a transparent and structured way to identify scalability. This will in turn accelerate the on-boarding, uptake and usage of the products and services.
Laura Bygrave, innovation and Ventures lead at Deloitte Legal, commented: “Complex buying processes within large corporates can mean early stage companies go out of business by the time a decision to proceed is made.
“We are focused on developing long-term, meaningful relationships with these companies. Starting as the user enables us to understand how a product or service can transform how we work and how it can benefit our clients. Importantly, we are not seeking to achieve exclusivity through these relationships; we do not want to impose any restrictions that could hinder product development and growth.”
Michael Castle, managing partner for Deloitte Legal, added: “New technologies have revolutionised a number of industries in recent years, but so far the legal sector has lagged behind. Collaborating with pioneering companies will drive innovation forward, allowing both parties to benefit from cumulative learning. We believe this is a different approach that will redefine the way legal services will be delivered in the future.”
Proving the proof-of-concept
A significant focus of the Deloitte Legal Ventures programme will be around accurately measuring the proof-of-concept process. For each company, a prioritised set of assumptions will be tested using specific metrics that will allow both parties to agree on what success looks like from the outset.
Almost two-thirds of the selected companies already have operational products or services with a number of existing clients. The rest of the cohort are either at a ‘very-early’, pre-revenue stage of development, or have chosen to work with Deloitte Legal in order to develop their offering further in a sandbox environment.
Scott Campbell, partner at Deloitte and leader of Deloitte Ventures, commented: “The process of working with big businesses can mean start-up companies often struggle to understand how their proof-of-concepts are being measured. In reality, big businesses can be nervous to let pilots loose on real customers, and the business and the start-up often need to adapt in line with advancing technology and changing expectations. We’re looking forward to providing transparency and clarity around this critical factor which can be the difference between success and failure.”