Mohamed Taha was a London-based Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton associate in 2018, grinding away at the minutiae underpinning capital markets transactions, when he started a conversation with his colleague John Kwan.

Kwan himself wasn’t a capital markets expert. But his own work on litigation and antitrust matters at the firm, which involved tasks requiring a certain amount of drudgery, made him receptive to Taha’s idea: There’s bound to be an easier way to do this job.