When I was a student at Harvard Law 20 years ago, I quickly noticed that law firms were like black boxes, billing hefty rates without much transparency or accountability. I now like to joke that people have more data about their underwear purchases on Amazon than corporate legal departments have about their law firms and how these firms deliver their services.
My experience at law school, coupled with my business partner Ketan’s 10 years as a corporate attorney, exposed us to the systemic cracks in the legal system. We saw law firms padding their wallets with more money than the assumed value they provided their clients.
We’re now in a moment of time where these cracks are about to get bigger. With COVID-19, we anticipate a rise in legal cases as companies turn to law firms to help them mitigate the negative financial impacts of this pandemic, from layoffs, to the grinding halt of M&A transactions, and to potential mass bankruptcies.
After the dot-com crisis, 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, law firms increased their hourly billings, even as their corporate clients experienced significant hardships. In 2009, top law firms increased profits per partner (PPP) between 10 and 34 percent notwithstanding the financial chaos surrounding them, according to the AmLaw 100 rankings.
This is why Ketan and I created Bodhala. We wanted to tackle the outdated legal marketplace to bring transparency to the billable hour and sophisticated economics to the legal industry—one where visibility and fair competition lead to the selection of the right lawyer at the right law firm at the right price.
With Bodhala, we created an AI-driven platform for the $500 billion legal services market. We provide essential 360-degree data on law firms and the analytical leverage needed to better allocate the legal market between its buyers and sellers. Our unique data and platform thereby provides us the opportunity to sit at the center of the dynamic legal ecosystem.
We brought the Bodhala platform to market in 2016 serving clients in financial services, healthcare services, insurance, energy, and private equity. Within the past year, we’ve experienced 300+ percent growth in both revenue and headcount and look forward to continuing on this trajectory in 2020. Today we are excited to announce our first institutional round—$10 million in growth capital led by Edison Partners.
When we first met Edison’s Dan Herscovici, we knew it was a fit because he understood our mission to deliver groundbreaking legal technology solutions to empower companies to analyze, interpret, and optimize outside counsel spend, trailblazing a new era of legal market intelligence with real transparency, real accountability, and real control.
With this financing, we are going to accelerate sales and marketing as well as product expansion. Specifically, we want to enhance our datasets to become even more valuable to our clients. Edison Partners has helped build great software businesses in other verticals so we are excited to have their expertise as we look to expand.
I look forward to sharing more great things to come as we usher in a market-driven economy to the legal industry and deliver more value to our customers.
Raj Goyle, CEO