Clio Is Helping Move Legal Firms Into The Digital World

The shift to remote work has magnified the need for law firms and legal teams to accelerate digital transformation programs to embrace cloud-based technologies. Canadian cloud-based legal tech provider, Clio was launched in 2008 by Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau and provides software that handles various law practice management tasks including client intake, contact management, calendaring, document management, timekeeping, billing, and trust accounting.

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According to Clio’s own Legal Trends Report for 2020, 56% of consumers believe that most legal matters can be dealt with remotely and prefer remote services such as calls. The report also found that 67% of consumers said that they put off legal problems during the pandemic, pointing to a huge backlog of legal issues and possible long-term need for easy-to-use digital solutions moving forward.

The company provides cloud-based software to more than 150,000 lawyers. Its customers are primarily small and medium-sized firms in Canada, the United States, and other global markets. Many of the lawyers using Clio are smaller and solo practitioners, but the company also serves larger firms such as Locks Law and King Law.

Now, Clio has joined the ranks of a growing list of tech unicorns, reaching a valuation of $1.6 billion following a recent funding round. It secured $110 million during a Series E round in April. In 2019, Clio raised the largest venture-capital investment for a Canadian company at the time with a $333.5 million Series D funding round.

The Series E round was raised from two new investors, T. Rowe Price Investment Management and OMERS Growth Equity. The all-equity round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, a U.S.-based asset manager for individuals, advisors, institutions, and retirement plan sponsors. The new funding, which brings Clio’s total funding to $503 million CAD to date, consisted mainly of primary capital with a small, undisclosed portion of secondary.

With the fresh capital in hand, Clio is also eyeing strategic acquisitions. “We're looking at anyone that will help us accelerate our product roadmap,” Newton told Business in Vancouver.

Clio currently has partnered with over 150 apps and in 2018, it made its first acquisition with its buy of Lexicata, a Los Angeles-based legal tech startup. The company plans to use its new capital to continue investing in its platform as well as toward strategic partnerships.