UpCounsel was founded with the idea of connecting businesses with affordable legal help by creating a marketplace of registered attorneys they can easily search and choose to work with. As it seeks to scale up, the startup has raised an additional $2.4 million in seed funding led by Metamorphic Ventures and Crosslink Capital.
The new round brings the total amount raised by UpCounsel to about $3.7 million. Earlier financing was led by Homebrew, which also participated in this round.
UpCounsel provides an on-demand marketplace of independent attorneys to help businesses find legal help without having to contract with a big law firm or pay monthly retainers. The site works to connect the two by identifying a client’s needs and finding an attorney with the right experience.
In addition to matching up independent attorneys with new clients, it also offers technology to help manage their relationship. It provides a secure virtual workspace so they can communicate, share documents, and electronic signatures. UpCounsel also handles all billing, invoicing, and payment for both parties.
That’s made it easier for attorneys to find and manage new clients, while also lowering the overall overhead for clients. Since launching early last year, the company has worked with more than 1,000 businesses and signed up more than 5,000 lawyers across the country. According to co-founder and CEO Matt Faustman, the company is growing 20 percent month over month and is in the millions in gross revenue run rate.
But so far, it’s mostly been operating in California and New York. With the new funding, UpCounsel will be expanding its presence, opening up the marketplace to attorneys and clients in places like Illinois and Texas.
While some of UpCounsel’s demand comes from those seeking patent and immigration help, which are nationally regulated, it is dependent on finding attorneys who are licensed in the places where it has clients. That’s why the company is taking more of a market-to-market approach as opposed to opening its platform up to just anyone.
Even so, it still seeks to find attorneys to match up with client requests even in markets it doesn’t explicitly serve, Faustman told me.
It’s also no longer working with tiny firms on an ad hoc basis. The company recently launched its “Outside General Counsel” program to provide longer-range legal help to companies. And it’s getting interest from beyond the tech scene that first supported it, now serving companies in industries that include biotech, real estate, retail, food & beverage and even entertainment.