2019 was record-breaking year for legaltech investments

The largest investments were each worth more than US$200m

2019 was record-breaking year for legaltech investments

Last year was a record-breaking year for legaltech investments, which totalled US$1.23bn across the world.

The achievement comes after the sector broke the US$1bn mark just a year before and is a sign that the sector is becoming mature, Bloomberg Law says.

Legaltech investments broke the US$1bn mark set in 2018 by the third quarter of 2019. Another notable trend, Bloomberg said, was that the investments came from a wide range of transactions. In contrast, half of the investments in 2018 was because of a US$500m infusion into Legal Zoom.

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Not that the investments in legaltech in the past year were small. The largest investments in the sector last year were each worth more than US$200m.

Clio, which makes practice-management software, raised US$250m in a Series D round headlined by TCV and JMI Equity. Onit, a software developer primarily serving corporate legal departments and law firms, received US$200m from K1 Investment Management.

Bloomberg said that the chief merger in 2019 was EY’s acquisition of Pangea3, the managed legal services company. Though the acquisition price was not disclosed, the deal is believed to be one of the most expensive acquisitions in the legaltech sector ever, it said.

There were also large transactions in digital-signing companies, Bloomberg said, led by Dropbox’s US$230m acquisition of HelloSign in January.

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