ClauseMatch raises $1.6 million to provide real-time collaboration to finance and legal teams

ClauseMatch CEO Evgeny Likhoded remembers what it used to be like to negotiate contracts. As a former employee of Morgan Stanley, and before that Gazprom, he was on teams that would negotiate contracts and agreements around financial products and the trading of physical commodities.

While technology has evolved in many parts of the enterprise, Likhoded says that financial, legal, risk-related and other compliance-heavy organizations would still overwhelmingly rely on Microsoft Word for creating and editing documents, and email for distributing those documents to everyone who would need to make changes or give approval.

“In large institutions, and the way people work in legal departments… whenever there is a document involved… several stakeholders comment, add changes, or provide approvals on that document. You would send that to 10 or 20 parties, get 20 documents back, then get 10 different copies of that document you would then have to put that back together,” Likhoded told me.

The problem got more complex the more parties were involved… for those that required the input or approval of upwards of 80-100 people, Likhoded said people would create spreadsheets as a primitive form of tracking and version control. And in many cases, that was problematic because regulators would want to see an audit trail to understand how a document was formed.

With all that in mind, Likhoded sought to build ClauseMatch, which provides a real-time collaboration tool for financial and legal teams to create and edit documents, track changes and mark as approved before being signed.

It simplifies the process of indexing all updates and provides a comprehensive audit trail for all documents, giving teams greater visibility into how documents evolve over time, and more control over sensitive materials because it knows everyone who might have made changes.

After a soft launch in early 2016, ClauseMatch was adopted by Barclays to streamline the company’s policy management. And it has several other clients that are in proof-of-concept trials that are looking to move to full deployments of the software.

As a result, ClauseMatch was able to raise $1.6 million in a seed funding, led by Speedinvest, with participation from existing investors SparkLabs Global Ventures, Techstars, former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer and former SunGard CEO Cristobal Conde.

With the funding in place, ClauseMatch will look to expand its already growing team. With 20 employees today — up from six a year ago — the company hopes to add more members to its product team and also kick off sales and marketing in a big way.