Dentons-Sponsored NextLaw to Invest in Doxly
The firm will adopt Doxly’s transaction management platform while investing in further development for the startup.
NextLaw Labs, the legal innovation accelerator sponsored by global mega-firm Dentons, will invest in legal transaction management platform Doxly as part of a $2.25 million Series Seed funding round.
Doxly will reportedly focus on expanding the platform and hiring additional staff with its new funding. High Alpha Capital and Hyde Park Venture Partners also contributed to the funding round.
This investment marks the third for NextLaw’s sister investment group, NextLaw Ventures. Although both NextLaw’s innovation and investment arms operate independently from Dentons, the law firm has adopted NextLaw Ventures’ other two formal investments, ROSS Intelligence and Apperio, in its operations.
NextLaw Labs CEO Dan Jansen said Dentons’ executives reached out to NextLabs looking for technology to better streamline and collaborate in what, to date, have been “surprisingly manual” transactions.
Jansen said that NextLaw investors were drawn to the Doxly platform’s ability to allow all transaction participants to “work off the same platform, see the same dashboards and the same info.”
Doxly launched in July with support from High Alpha Capital’s “venture studio.” Its software allows all parties involved in a transaction to view and use automated workflows, intelligent diligence and closing checklists, and document-level collaboration on a cloud-hosted system.
Doxly CEO Haley Altman, a former partner at Ice Miller, described the company as “an entirely new end-to-end cloud-based platform that allows legal teams and their clients to collaborate, manage and accelerate every stage of the deal process” in a July statement.
Dentons’ sponsorship of NextLaw allows them to leverage and support useful legal innovation while also tailoring it to their specific practice. “We try to help shape the product. We’re not like a passive VC,” Jansen said.
Jansen said that although big companies in other industries regularly sponsor third-party innovation labs like NextLaw Labs, the model is much more novel in the legal industry. The company looks for startups in earlier stages of development.
“We like these companies that are at a very nascent, early stage. We can kind of bring them in to pilot the product, help shape the product, and if the opportunity exists, to invest in the company,” Jansen said.
NextLaw Ventures maintains a policy of co-investing with other lead investors, but does not disclose its exact investment amounts.
One of the biggest challenges for many legal tech companies in attracting venture capital funding is the length of the sales cycle in legal. “The sales cycle in Big Law is painfully slow,” Jansen said.
NextLaw’s partnership with Dentons, however, may allow the accelerator to substantially reduce the sales cycle for companies like Doxly. “By owning a piece of the company and having a partner saying, ‘I want that,’ we can compress it from 18 months to a month or two.”