Legaltech Startup Bench IQ Raises $2.8 Million in Pre-Seed Funding

Legaltech Startup Bench IQ Raises $2.8 Million in Pre-Seed Funding

Bench IQ, a legal technology startup based in Toronto, Canada, has successfully secured $2.8 million CAD (equivalent to $2.1 million USD) in pre-seed funding to bolster its AI software and expand its presence in the United States legal market.

The funding round was led by Maple VC and Haystack, with notable participation from various investors including Jason Boehmig, Qasar Younis, and prominent law firms such as Cooley, Fenwick & West, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

CEO Jimoh Ovbiagele revealed in an exclusive interview with BetaKit that Bench IQ’s innovative software utilizes cutting-edge AI technology, specifically large language models, to analyze and compile data on the rulings of US federal judges. This extensive dataset covers “100 percent” of federal judges’ rulings, providing valuable insights into their decision-making processes.

Ovbiagele emphasized that Bench IQ’s platform offers law firms unprecedented advantages by enabling them to gain deeper understanding into how judges approach legal issues, thereby empowering them to construct stronger legal arguments and improve their outcomes in court. He explained that while only about three percent of rulings have written opinions, Bench IQ fills the gap by offering insights into all rulings, helping law firms navigate legal precedents effectively.

The startup, founded by Ovbiagele, CTO Maxim Isakov, and legal services VP Jeffrey Gettleman, focuses on US commercial bankruptcy law in its initial beta release launched in January. Ovbiagele highlighted that despite being a young company, Bench IQ has already secured clients among the top 100 US law firms, indicating a promising trajectory for growth.

Drawing from his previous experience as a co-founder of Ross Intelligence, Ovbiagele expressed determination to succeed in the legaltech space despite past challenges. He noted that while Ross Intelligence faced legal battles, including a lawsuit from Thomson Reuters, he and his team remain committed to advancing legal technology through Bench IQ.

With the newly acquired funding, Bench IQ plans to expand its engineering, sales, and marketing teams to further penetrate the US market. Ovbiagele affirmed the company’s intention to eventually offer its services internationally, including in Canada.

In conclusion, Bench IQ’s successful fundraising underscores the growing demand for AI-powered solutions in the legal industry and the startup’s potential to revolutionize legal research and strategy formulation for law firms.

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