Sao Paulo Legaltech Venture Day: the ecosystem, the actors & the startups
Guillermo Miranda, Winner of the Global Legaltech Venture Day 2019, on the Brazilian startup ecosystem and how disruptors are transforming the way lawyers work through technology and innovative tools.
The path we have embarked on with the Global Legaltech Venture Days has been amazing. This time it led us to São Paulo, a vibrant city that hosted an exciting and outstanding Legaltech Venture Day.
Brazil seems to have a very fertile environment for legal innovation: there are more than one million lawyers, similar numbers than in the United States, and there are almost 80 million open procedures in their courts. I was amazed when looking at this numbers, as I understood the market opportunity that a legal innovator can grasp in this ecosystem.
When doing research about the number of Brazilian legaltech startups, I found out that the AB2L Association groups more than 200 startups – this number helps us conceive the actual market offered in the country. São Paulo is the biggest innovation hub in the country followed by Rio de Janeiro. I also found, talking with colleagues in the event and in other meetings, that most of the startups are bootstraps, a characteristic I can relate to in the Mexican and Latin American market, since most of the time founders use their own funds to develop and start their companies.
I was very excited to notice that there are many events and conferences related to these topics in the country. One example is the Startup Weekend São Paulo LegalTech organized last November and the StartSe Lawtech Conference earlier this year. Another great effort to note is a national directory of Brazilian legaltech companies, an incredible initiative that allows startup founders, as myself, to get to know the startups and understand the fields of their work. Another entity that is making many efforts in these matters is the Associação dos Advogados de São Paulo which periodically organizes events and sponsors various initiatives on legal innovation. Kudos to all of them!
Brazil seems to have a very fertile environment for legal innovation and I understood the market opportunity that a legal innovator can grasp in this ecosystem.
The 6 startups competing
To begin with, the event review, I want to recognize the organizers, IE, Ontier and FGV – Fundação Getulio Vargas for the incredible organization of the event and guests, and the very attentive crowd that gathered during the evening.
After the opening remarks and speeches of the guest speakers, the startup competition began. The first competitor was Deep Legal, a platform that monitors and predicts lawsuits in the Brazilian courts. It was very interesting to see the way it allows companies to keep management of their cases and obtain predictions for the possible outcome of the suits. Deep Legal promises to simplify the day-to-day work with the portfolio of lawsuits of a company and present relevant insights with their artificial intelligence capabilities.
The second startup in the program was JUIT, a startup that aims to make a lawyer’s day to day life easier through a legal software created using modern technologies. One of the solutions is a search tool for jurisprudence, Rimor, which analyzes statistics, related jurisprudence and promises to enhance the productivity of a legal department.
Next was Freelaw, a marketplace of lawyers for law firms. I found this idea very useful since it would permit freelance, experienced lawyers, to work freelance in matters of an established law firm. I thought this startup offers a great opportunity to lawyers who become mothers and leave traditional law firms or a millennial lawyer that is tired of the long office hours that are required in a legal powerhouse.
The fourth startup was LegalBoards, a management tool specialized for lawyers and their daily work. I loved the fact that the founders launched this startup in Canada and found great opportunities there to develop and mature their venture. They won awards in Canada and gained traction in the market. This startup promises to be the best legal CRM in the market.
Neural Mind was fifth presenting. They amazed the audience with their e-due diligence tool, and their hard work for normalizing documents with their proprietary algorithms to deliver quick and reliable services to different industries.
Last but not least: Portal Juris. This automated case tracking tool for procedures in the Brazilian federal and regional courts, aims to search all the information relevant to a case number or record. Portal Juris promises immediate information regarding cases, storage and monitoring in their system. This venture aims to provide agility and practicality in this search work that some lawyers have to conduct on a daily basis.
After all the pitches, we, the jury went to a private meeting room to discuss the outcome of the competition. All the startups had a promising future and they made an amazing and innovative effort in the Brazilian legal market. After deliberating, JUIT was the winner. JUIT will have the opportunity to pitch in the final in Madrid next spring (2020).
I want to congratulate all the startups, even the ones that did not get to this final pitch because they have done great efforts in each of their ventures. Keep on working and disrupting this profession!
Article written by: Guillermo Miranda, Winner of the Global Legaltech Venture Day 2019, Co-Founder / Legal Director Lucius Report