The origin story of tech-driven litigation funder Legalist is not all too different from many disruptive companies that came before it. Like Airbnb, fintech startup Stripe and self-driving car company Cruise, Legalist sprouted out of seed accelerator Y Combinator.

In 2016, Eva Shang dropped out of her Harvard University undergraduate program to work with Y Combinator in hopes of developing a legal analytics company that scraped state court records. While there, Y Combinator partner Jon Levy, formerly of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, tipped off Shang and her business partner Christian Haigh to “a burgeoning new asset class called litigation funding.”

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