Approximately 75% of in-house legal teams are concerned about overspending on outside counsel when the need arises. Priori is the legal marketplace that changes how in-house teams find, hire, and manage outside counsel by providing access to 1500+ highly vetted attorneys in 700+ practice proficiencies. After an intense vetting process, only about 10% of attorneys are admitted to the platform. Priori’s clients, which consist of Fortune 500 companies and scaling tech companies, have saved 60% on average versus relying on traditional legal services.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Basha Rubin to learn more about Priori’s growth (client spend has increased on the platform 200% in the last year), future plans, and recent funding round.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $6.3M Series A. This round included existing investors Hearst Corporation, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Jambhala, alongside legal industry heavyweights such as the former GC of Alibaba Group Tim Steinert, Jules Miller of Mindset Ventures, former President of Thomson Reuters Legal Business Mike Suchsland of Bridge Investments, and Orrick’s Legal Technology Fund.
Tell us about the product or service that Priori offers.
Priori is the legal marketplace changing the way in-house teams find, hire, and manage outside counsel. Using data and technology, Priori rapidly connects teams from 1 to 1000+ with the right attorney for any project globally. Priori’s clients include Fortune 500 enterprises and leading technology companies, who use Priori’s platform to find vetted attorneys at firms of all sizes for projects requiring niche expertise, local counsel, cost-control, or overflow capacity support.
What inspired the start of Priori?
I met my cofounder Mirra Levitt at Yale Law School. We graduated in the wake of the 2008 recession, and we believed that the vertical marketplace model—which was succeeding in other industries—would be transformative for law where information about lawyer experience, expertise, and pricing is particularly opaque.
How is Priori Legal different?
Our marketplace model for legal teams at large corporations is unique in the industry. We have over 1500 vetted attorneys (our vetting process yields a 10% admissions rate) who are at firms of all sizes from solo practitioners to the Am Law 100. Our in-house clients are at Fortune 500 enterprises and fast-growing technology companies who use us to save 60% versus what they were previously paying for similar legal services and increase their satisfaction with outside counsel from 49% to 98%.
What market does Priori Legal target and how big is it?
We are targeting the global $800B market for legal services.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
We have experienced a 200% growth in client spend over the past year. As legal departments are facing outside counsel budget cuts and W-2 hiring freezes, our solution offers a way to reduce cost while improving satisfaction.
What was the funding process like?
In the course of fundraising for Priori, we have negotiated a term sheet while in labor, pitched from the hospital bed the morning after giving birth, pitched (and worked) without childcare during lockdown, pumped breastmilk in the bathroom of a prominent VC firm in the 10 minutes before a pitch, had three babies in the course of two fundraising rounds and chosen redeye flights so we could make sure to have breakfast with our kids before heading back into the office. These moments make for good stories now, but living it has been equal parts lovely, exhilarating, frustrating, and messy.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
While pitching our enterprise technology company, we have been counseled to build a “nice lifestyle business for two moms.” We have been introduced, on stage, as “mompreneurs” (by a dad, who did not self-identify as a “dadpreneur”). While pitching pregnant, we heard “I like your business and your numbers, but you don’t make my spidey sense tingle.” And on and on.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Happy clients at some of the largest companies in the country are expanding how they use Priori and loving their experience with us.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Hiring new team-members to scale is our top priority.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Budget more time than you expect when you are ready to fundraise – particularly during this time.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We are in hyper-growth mode both for the business and product teams. We are focused on expanding our attorney network, particularly internationally, and streamlining and improving the product to drive more efficiency for in-house counsel and the lawyers who serve them.
We are focused on expanding our attorney network, particularly internationally, and streamlining and improving the product to drive more efficiency for in-house counsel and the lawyers who serve them.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
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