If we recall correctly, the U.S. entity LegalZoom began with O.J. Simpson’s lawyer pitching the business on cable TV. Now the same company has invested in Lawpath, a Sydney-based start-up wanting to build out a subscription-based legal services platform for the Asia Pacific.
The company serves local and small and medium-sized businesses with legal services. In other words, documents, e-signatures, business registrations, and offers on-demand lawyers. Meanwhile, Lawpath announced it has raised $5.5 million to expand beyond Australia into New Zealand and Southeast Asia. This raise brings their total fundraising to about $10.5 million.
Legalpath is no spring chicken though. The company was founded eight years ago and currently has some 230,000 users in Australia. It claims to have helped form 5% of new start-ups in Australia since its founding.
The company plans to use the new funds for doubling its current team of 40 to focus on product and market expansion. The company’s co-founder and CEO, Dominic Wollrych used to be one of those corporate lawyers working for a large firm. There he saw how many important legal services were unavailable to local and small businesses and decided he’d try and solve that problem.
So Wollrych had this to say about the problem his company is solving. “There are millions of legal transactions that happen every day that small businesses don’t seek legal advice on simply because they can’t afford to and it’s leaving them unprotected,” enter Lawpath.
Legal Help for the Virtual Economy
Most of the company’s customers are driving under $5 million in annual revenue and typically have up to 20 employees. Many of them operate in the online space — eCommerce and the gig economy.
More recently the company has been seeing financial planners and accountants signing up for the service. Offers start at around $25 per month with the most popular offer being the $45 per month option. That option includes unlimited 30 minutes of phone calls with a lawyer.
As for many SaaS operators, the pandemic has been a net positive for Lawpath. Many individuals sought to expand their side hustles into ongoing concerns. Wollrych likens Lawpath — perhaps wishfully — to Xero the global accounting platform.
“We saw Lawpath following a similar path to accounting platform Xero,” he said. “Xero is an accounting infrastructure that small businesses use to complete their accounting. Xero has moved into many new markets by injecting local accounting methods into its platform. Lawpath can do the same for legal and become the ‘Xero of Law.’”
Ambitious for sure. Is this a pipe dream? Maybe. But if the company can find a smidgen of the success that Xero has generated, Lawpath might do well. With LegalZoom as an investor, it would seem even a glimmer of momentum on the part of Lawpath could position the company to be acquired by LegalZoom.