Online legal platform Rocket Lawyer is acquiring legal Q&A platform, LawPivot. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but we’re told that the acquisition was an all stock-deal.
This is the first acquisition for Rocket Lawyer, the fast growing startup which provides legal documents to consumers and small businesses. LawPivot was co-founded by a team of lawyers and tech execs, including Jay Mandal, a lead mergers and acquisitions attorney at Apple; Nitin Gupta; an intellectual property litigation lawyer; and Steven Kam, a software engineer and architect with experience as an intellectual property litigation lawyer.
The startup, which launched in 2010, aimed to be a “Quora for legal advice.” LawPivot allows individuals, companies and startups to confidentially ask legal questions to expert attorneys. On LawPivot, startups can post questions on the site, and lawyers message these companies back with advice. Questions are completely confidential, so companies still have privacy within the platform.
LawPivot has legal experts in specialties like corporate, intellectual property, contracts, employment, tax, and immigration law, who share their expertise and insights with businesses by publicly answering legal questions raised by the LawPivot community.
LawPivot also encourages lawyers to create comprehensive profiles on LawPivot, so companies and individuals know where their legal advice is coming from. Additionally, LawPivot connects a company to the best-suited lawyers to answer its legal questions. As companies interact with LawPivot over time, the site’s technology used past and present data on users and trends to provide a company the best lawyers to answer its question based on the company’s specific needs.
Charley Moore, Founder and Executive Chairman of Rocket Lawyer, tells us that the companies developed a relationship through their mutual investor, Google Ventures, Rocket Lawyer has raised $40 million in funding from August Capital, Google Ventures and Investor Growth Capital(IGC). LawPivot is backed by Google Ventures, Vaizra Investments, Venture51, Quotidian Ventures, Deep Nishar, David Austin, David Tisch, Richard Chen and Allen Morgan.
Moore explains LawPivot will continue to exist as an independent platform but the company is working to integrate the Q&A experience into the core Rocket Lawyer product. RocketLawyer already offers a “Ask A Lawyer” program, that allows users to query lawyers for questions, but LawPivot will provide a more in-depth product for both companies and individuals.
He adds that the acquisition is also a great talent deal for Rocket Lawyer. “It’s hard to find great talent that understand both technology and the legal world,” he says.
Moore and Rocket Lawyer have been a part of its own legal drama of late, after rival LegalZoom sued the company over false and misleading advertising, trademark infringement and unfair competition. Rocket Lawyer has counter sued LegalZoom, and we’ve heard from sources that LegalZoom has actually dropped parts of their suit.
Despite this, Moore seems optimistic that the courts will realize LegalZoom’s false accusations. — “It’s a shame to litigate instead of innovate,” he says.
It’s a competitive space, and Rocket Lawyer is growing fast–the company is adding more than $20 million in revenue a year, and is looking to continue to innovate by adding compelling online services like LawPivot to the mix. That could be the recipe for becoming the go-to destination to get legal documents and advice online.