The legal-tech startup Priori is entering a new phase after a year of growth in which the company said its revenue soared by more than 250%.
The startup raised $15 million in its latest round, led by Eagle Proprietary Investments Limited, with new investors including Thomson Reuters Ventures, Thirty-Five Ventures, Peak6 Strategic Capital and Soma Ventures, and existing investors like Bridge Investments, Great Oaks Venture Capital and HearstLab.
The round will fuel its growth, cofounders Basha Rubin and Mirra Levitt, told Insider. Priori has 33 employees, and plans to double in size this year, growing its sales, product, operations, engineering, and other teams.
Priori’s main products are “Marketplace,” a tool that allows in-house legal departments at companies to search for new outside counsel, and “Scout” — currently in its beta phase — and meant to help companies manage relationships within their own existing network of outside law firms.
The startup, which launched in 2013, has also worked with companies like Hearst, and the law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and others to develop a database to help corporate legal departments enlist firms specific to their needs.
“We started this company because we thought that finding the right lawyer or the right law firm was good for lawyers and good for clients,” said Levitt, Priori cofounder and chief product officer. “And that was an optimization question that a matchmaking algorithm could really help with, particularly when you had a rich data set about attorney experience and expertise.”
Rubin and Levitt graduated from Yale Law School in 2010, and even back then saw opportunities to cater to companies trying to optimize how they hired outside law firms and reduce their legal spending, they said.
At that time, consumer marketplaces like Uber and Airbnb were just taking off and served as inspiration for Rubin and Levitt. “We came to realize that there was an opportunity to bring many of the same advantages to law in a highly industry-specific way,” Rubin said.
Deval Dvivedi, head of international at Eagle Proprietary Investments Ltd., recalls meeting Rubin at a parent event at their kids’ school in New York City. Eagle’s investment in legal tech company ContractPodAI had Rubin’s attention, and they began to talk about legal tech.
Eagle held off on investing during the early months of the pandemic, but jumped at the opportunity to back Priori this round, said Dvivedi.
“We just said, ‘Look, we love it, let’s stay in touch, we’re just not going to do anything until we come out of this thing, one way or another.’ Which, to be honest, was a huge mistake in hindsight,” he said. “I still joke with Basha and Mirra about that, that I really kicked myself that we should have done this. But hindsight is 20/20, and kudos to them that they’ve really built this business.”
Others said they invested in Priori as changes during the pandemic led to shifts in what companies are looking for from outside counsel.
“The pandemic, remote work, these are all things that have changed the way that we were all working and going about our lives and businesses, and Priori is super well-positioned to take advantage of some of those changes, ” said Joe Dormani, founding principal investor at Thomson Reuters Ventures.