As technology evolves, it is aimed to be used for bettering our lives while making difficult tasks easier. Similarly, in the legal domain, there are multiple grinding or repetitive tasks that are time-consuming and take away from important matters. In order to mitigate this, London-based startup Robin AI offers a solution that is said to automatically reviewing such legal documents. The startup has now secured a £1.75 million investment as well.
The latest funding round for Robin AI was led by Episode 1, along with many notable angel investors. These include former CEO of NPower Paul Massara, Former Chief Revenue Officer of Axiom, Al Giles, and Oliver Burgel, Former CEO of Barings Europe. In addition to the funding round, the startup will also receive a part of $2 million (£1.44M) funding from Google Black Founders Fund. The Google fund programme supports some chosen companies that are working on changing the current state of diversity in tech.
Robin AI’s current clientele consists of legal firms Clifford Chance and Foot Anstey, PE funds like Hayfin and businesses like Pizza Hut and Babylon Health. The startup intends to utilise these fresh funds to further expand their client base. Furthermore, they are planning to soon roll out a new software that is aimed at assisted contracts creation.
In a conversation with UKTN, the company’s CEO and founder Richard Robinson reveals more about their future plans. “We will use these funds principally to improve our technology to provide faster and more consistent service. This means hiring some of the world’s most talented software engineers, product designers and machine learning engineers. We also want to scale our sales efforts in the UK and the US,” Robinson notes.
Harnessing the power of AI
Robin AI’s software solution employs a combination of machine learning and human intelligence to automate legal work. The offering is said to save time and costs by automatically reviewing and going through high volume legal contracts such as NDAs.
The software is touted to instantly read a contract and compare it against pre-arranged rules. “It then automatically amends to contract at a granular, word-level, according to the pre-agreed rules with mark-ups that look like the work of a human lawyer. Robin lawyers then do a final check of content to ensure accuracy,” the startup says.
As for the competition, ThoughtRiver and Blackboiler offer similar software solutions. However, Robinson claims that their offerings simply attempt to understand contracts without really excelling at editing. As per Robinson, “We’ve pioneered a human-in-the-loop service that combines proprietary machine learning technology, software engineering and the expertise of a human legal professional to produce high quality edited contracts at record speeds.”
Robin AI was founded in 2018 and launched in 2020 by Richard Robinson who worked as a corporate lawyer. He noted that much of his legal work entailed repetitive tasks for which a cheaper, faster and more accurate technology could easily take care of, and thus the idea for Robin AI was born. Robinson is also passionate about improving diversity in the legal and technology industries and that goes to show with Robin AI, where half of the company’s board members are women.
Alongside Richard, Robin AI’s CTO, Dr. James Clough, leads the company. Clough holds a PhD in AI and has spent years using machine learning in healthcare to diagnose diseases.
A diverse approach
Richard Robinson is a Black lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who takes diversity representation seriously. On the topic of diversity, he notes, “We know that the technology industry has had plenty of warm words about diversity in the last few years, but we still continue to see depressing statistics around gender and racial diversity both in VC, in founder representation and in start-ups themselves.”
“And the legal industry faces similar challenges. We wanted to change that. Half of our team are women, half of our board are women, and 25% of our staff are people of colour. And we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we are looking far and wide for the best and most diverse group of people to join us on this journey,” Robinson concludes.
Robin AI currently employs 12 people and also plans to add three more people to the fray by the end of August. The startup is on the lookout for software engineers, machine learning engineers and legal engineers.