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Internet Brands acquires Avvo (1/8): Online legal services company Avvo moved out of the legal tech niche and into broader e-commerce with its acquisition by Internet Brands. Avvo CEO Mark Britton told LTN that he expects the deal will allow the company to build out more collaborative efforts with Internet Brands’ other legal services-based companies. Although terms of the deal were not made public, Avvo’s $132 million in venture capital fundraising likely played a big part into the company’s valuation.

JLL Partners acquires Xact Data Discovery (XDD) (1/10): New York-based private equity firm JLL Partners acquired e-discovery group Xact Data Discovery (XDD). JLL Partners has historically focused most of its acquisitions in middle-market companies in the aerospace, healthcare and financial services. The XDD acquisition marks the private equity firm’s first foray into e-discovery.

Fastcase acquires DocketAlarm (1/18): Legal research company Fastcase this year announced it would be acquiring docket analytics platform DocketAlarm and retaining the company’s head Michael Sander to become Fastcase’s director of analytics. Fastcase CEO Ed Walters told LTN that he hopes the acquisition can push Fastcase users to adopt better data-driven practices in their legal work. “It’s a 21st century competency that we’re just now building,” he said.

Veritext acquires David Feldman Worldwide (1/23): Litigation support services company Veritext acquired New York-based court reporting group David Feldman Worldwide early in this year. Although court reporting isn’t showing many other signs of growing market consolidation, Veritext senior vice president of product management and marketing Valerie Berger said that market consolidation around court reporting today has “everything to do with the fact that in today’s world, data breaches and security issues are becoming a concern for large law firms. And small companies just don’t have the resources to invest in world class security,” she added.

KLDiscovery gets growth financing (1/29): KLDiscovery, the newly rebranded merged company formed from e-discovery groups Kroll Ontrack and LDiscovery, announced it would receive a “significant” growth investment from WestView Capital Partners, with participation from the Carlyle Group and Revolution Growth. “Investments in sales initiatives, our new global data centers in EMEA, APAC, and North America, our cloud technology for both legal technologies and data storage technology, and critical software development projects, like our on premise and cloud data hosting solution Nebula, are all scheduled for the next two years,” said Chris Weiler, CEO of KLDiscovery, in a statement.

DISCO gets $20M in growth financing (1/30): E-discovery group DISCO took in $20 million in growth financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from LiveOak Venture Partners and The Stephens Group. The company plans to use the funding to double its product development efforts and scale up its global sales efforts.

Logikcull gets $25M Series B funding (1/31): Self-service e-discovery company Logikcull took in a $25 million Series B funding round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from OpenView Venture Partners and Storm Ventures. Logikcull CEO and co-founder Andy Wilson told LTN that the funding influx will be used to double its total staff and triple its engineering and development staff over the next year.

Avalon merges with DIGITS (2/9): E-discovery and litigation support firm Avalon Document Services merged with digital forensics and cyber security services DIGITS, showing the growing concerns around cybersecurity in e-discovery work. “We have seen a big push for full-service law firms to offer cybersecurity practices to guide their clients through data breaches, and this will allow us to better support those firms in the digital forensics that is a large part of those matters,” Avalon director of marketing Ashley Hazlett told LTN.

OpenText acquires Hightail (2/14): Canadian enterprise information management company OpenText acquired large file collaboration tool Hightail, formerly known as YouSendIt. OpenText plans to continue to operate Hightail as a standalone company, and the company will look to integrate its features into its OpenText Content Suite, Documentum and Core platforms

Certatech Solutions acquires Clearwater Legal (2/21): Legal consulting group Certatech Solutions attempted to broaden its Washington D.C. footprint with its February acquisition of document review service Clearwater Legal. CertaTech Solutions CEO John Tober told LTN at the time that the company was hoping to serve the increasing demand for localized D.C. document support. “More and more law firms and corporations are looking for local support and expertise in D.C. on such matters. That presents an exciting litigation support opportunity to CertaTech and its seasoned support teams,” he said.

Practice Panther receives Alpine Investors equity investment (3/5): Matter management platform this week announced that it would be taking an equity investment from Alpine Investors to broaden its research and development efforts, as well as strengthening its market presence. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Practice Panther CEO Mark Bitton told legal blogger Bob Ambrogi that the investment was “large.”

2017 was a pretty quiet year for legal technology investment, raising eyebrows for market researchers who were hoping to see venture capitalists and private equity funders funnel more money into legal-facing companies. In 2018, it looks like the legal tech market may finally be seeing that bounce back.

Gabrielle Orum Hernández

Gabrielle Orum Hernández is a reporter with Legaltech News and the Daily Report covering legal technology startups and vendors. She can be reached by email at ghernandez@alm.com, or on Twitter at @GMOrumHernandez.

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