Contract Management
Contract Management (Shutterstock)

Some might say that the contract management space is becoming a crowded arena in legal technology. But Jason Boehmig, co-founder of the Silicon Valley-based startup Ironclad, doesn’t really think so. 

“It’s crowded and it’s not crowded at the same time,” he said, noting that his company’s technology stands apart because of its uniquely “Silicon Valley” approach – strong tech talent, quick development times, and collaborations with other tech field leaders.

Some investors seem to agree. Ironclad emerged from relative “stealth mode” earlier this year, and this week completed an $8 million Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Accel. A former attorney at Fenwick & West, Boehmig said that while Ironclad has built some strong inroads within other Bay Area companies like GoFundMe, Gusto and HotelTonight, the funding will help the contract startup widen its reach.

Although the company launched in 2015 following participation in Y Combinator’s summer class, it has since taken a low key approach to scaling out its operation. “I think it’s very dangerous to scale before you find product/market fit, because you’re spread in a lot of different directions, and once you scale, the stakes get a lot higher,” Boehmig previously told Legaltech News.

Following this funding round, Ironclad may have some more scaling opportunity. Here’s a look at the platform:

Who it serves: Ironclad is likely to be of most value to legal departments looking for help streamlining their contracting process. The platform features automated workflows and leans heavily on shared APIs with e-signature and document management companies like DocuSign and Box. 

Boehmig explained that in his view, some competitors in the contract management space promise to handle these components, but build out less than impressive systems. Additionally, some customers want to keep working with the systems they’ve grown accustomed to. “We realized,” Boehmig said, “there’s reusable parts that we can work with and in fact our companies prefer we work with.”

What it does: Ironclad is essentially a Silicon Valley spin on contract management. The platform stores contracts, but also breaks contracts down into code that allows the software to analyze documents for content, tag and search through contracts, and provide key analytics. Ironclad’s platform also allows users to create specific user workflows and generate contract templates. “We’re trying to build a database of contract information that stays up to date automatically,” Boehmig said.

How they claim A.I.: If there were awards for the most overhyped buzzwords in technology, “artificial intelligence” would almost certainly claim the title for 2017. While Ironclad touts an AI-enabled product and strong connections to AI developers like Accel partner Steve Loughlin, the former CEO of relational intelligence company Relate IQ and a current Ironclad board member, the company is trying to wade into the AI waters carefully.

“The less sexy way we’re doing this is AI as a component of our solution. We bring it to bear when it’s actually helpful for solving a business use case. Where that’s really helping us is our ability to predictively help attorneys with our tasks,” Boehmig said, adding that the platform uses AI to help determine where in workflow to provide useful information.

How they landed the big investment: Despite the venture funding success of other information governance fields, legal technology often struggles to entice venture capital funders to invest. Boehmig said that, at least where corporate legal departments are concerned, this may be starting to change.

“Every big company has a legal team, and there’s been lots of companies that have focused just on one of the key verticals,” he said, pointing to startups targeting marketing, sales, and other business operations teams. Legal, Boehmig noted, is still an untapped space ripe for technology development within companies. “It seems inevitable to me, and I think more investors in Silicon Valley, that that’s the case.”

 

Strategic Technology Forum USA will take place at the Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort & Spa in San Diego on October 11-13, 2017.

Designed to connect a C-level audience of Am Law 200 leaders with the most progressive IT, data and security disruptors, STF USA will challenge the way legal services are delivered in the future and provide you with practical ideas to drive your strategic planning. Join our community and together we will future-proof the business of law!

Some might say that the contract management space is becoming a crowded arena in legal technology. But Jason Boehmig, co-founder of the Silicon Valley-based startup Ironclad, doesn’t really think so. 

“It’s crowded and it’s not crowded at the same time,” he said, noting that his company’s technology stands apart because of its uniquely “Silicon Valley” approach – strong tech talent, quick development times, and collaborations with other tech field leaders.

Some investors seem to agree. Ironclad emerged from relative “stealth mode” earlier this year, and this week completed an $8 million Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Accel. A former attorney at Fenwick & West , Boehmig said that while Ironclad has built some strong inroads within other Bay Area companies like GoFundMe, Gusto and HotelTonight, the funding will help the contract startup widen its reach.

Although the company launched in 2015 following participation in Y Combinator’s summer class, it has since taken a low key approach to scaling out its operation. “I think it’s very dangerous to scale before you find product/market fit, because you’re spread in a lot of different directions, and once you scale, the stakes get a lot higher,” Boehmig previously told Legaltech News.

Following this funding round, Ironclad may have some more scaling opportunity. Here’s a look at the platform:

Who it serves: Ironclad is likely to be of most value to legal departments looking for help streamlining their contracting process. The platform features automated workflows and leans heavily on shared APIs with e-signature and document management companies like DocuSign and Box. 

Boehmig explained that in his view, some competitors in the contract management space promise to handle these components, but build out less than impressive systems. Additionally, some customers want to keep working with the systems they’ve grown accustomed to. “We realized,” Boehmig said, “there’s reusable parts that we can work with and in fact our companies prefer we work with.”

What it does: Ironclad is essentially a Silicon Valley spin on contract management. The platform stores contracts, but also breaks contracts down into code that allows the software to analyze documents for content, tag and search through contracts, and provide key analytics. Ironclad’s platform also allows users to create specific user workflows and generate contract templates. “We’re trying to build a database of contract information that stays up to date automatically,” Boehmig said.

How they claim A.I.: If there were awards for the most overhyped buzzwords in technology, “artificial intelligence” would almost certainly claim the title for 2017. While Ironclad touts an AI-enabled product and strong connections to AI developers like Accel partner Steve Loughlin, the former CEO of relational intelligence company Relate IQ and a current Ironclad board member, the company is trying to wade into the AI waters carefully.

“The less sexy way we’re doing this is AI as a component of our solution. We bring it to bear when it’s actually helpful for solving a business use case. Where that’s really helping us is our ability to predictively help attorneys with our tasks,” Boehmig said, adding that the platform uses AI to help determine where in workflow to provide useful information.

How they landed the big investment: Despite the venture funding success of other information governance fields, legal technology often struggles to entice venture capital funders to invest. Boehmig said that, at least where corporate legal departments are concerned, this may be starting to change.

“Every big company has a legal team, and there’s been lots of companies that have focused just on one of the key verticals,” he said, pointing to startups targeting marketing, sales, and other business operations teams. Legal, Boehmig noted, is still an untapped space ripe for technology development within companies. “It seems inevitable to me, and I think more investors in Silicon Valley, that that’s the case.”

 

Strategic Technology Forum USA will take place at the Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort & Spa in San Diego on October 11-13, 2017.

Designed to connect a C-level audience of Am Law 200 leaders with the most progressive IT, data and security disruptors, STF USA will challenge the way legal services are delivered in the future and provide you with practical ideas to drive your strategic planning. Join our community and together we will future-proof the business of law!