Revenue, expansion outlooks overwhelmingly positive for Aussie legal tech

By Jerome Doraisamy|05 July 2020
Stevie Ghiassi

Australia’s legal technology market is “burgeoning” with new start-ups and is being bolstered by “fertile” market conditions, a new report says.

The “Global Legal tech Report: Australia 2020”, from Alpha Creates and the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA), showcases the nation’s trajectory as a hub for innovation by way of responses from 54 Australian legal tech companies. It is one of numerous such global reports that have been produced, with other profiled regions including Asia and New Zealand.

When asked about company sentiment regarding revenue outlook, an overwhelming majority (87 per cent) of Australian legal tech companies said they are feeling positive about their revenue outlooks for the next 12 months. None reported feeling negative about it, while just 4 per cent said they were neutral.

Further, Australian legal tech companies appear to have promising levels of access to funding relative to regional counterparts: 41 per cent of tech companies across the country say they have such access, compared to 44 per cent of outfits in Asia and 31 per cent in NZ.

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In tandem with the fiscal findings is the indication from almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of Australian legal tech companies that they desire to expand overseas, while 28 per cent did not indicate this is on the horizon.

Interestingly, fewer Australian legal tech companies are seeking to expand abroad than regional counterparts, with 77 per cent of NZ-based companies and 82 per cent of Asian companies expressing similar desires.

Such geographic expansion was the most common response given by Australian companies when asked to classify themes associated with revenue opportunities (15 per cent), which was closely followed by segment and customer focus (12 per cent), new markets (9 per cent), new technology and new products (both 7 per cent).

Conversely, when asked to classify thematic challenges for revenue, respondents listed increased competition (18 per cent), market and client issues (13 per cent), staffing (10 per cent), growing pains (9 per cent) and marketing (7 per cent).

“Australian legal tech companies have access to a range of funding options from grants, accelerators, crowdfunding, angels, venture capital funds, private equity, debt and corporates,” said ALTA director and Legaler CEO Stevie Ghiassi (pictured).

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“There is still an education process that needs to happen for potential investors to fully understand the nuances of the legal tech market, and how it differs from fintech or regtech. The market is seeing investors start to open their wallets to legal tech start-ups in Australia.”

Reflecting on the findings, Mr Ghiassi wrote that “if data is the new oil, we hope we’re able to fuel the advancement of legal technology and the industry it serves in a profound way, with the ultimate goal of making the law more efficient and more accessible”.

The report was produced by Alpha Creates and ALTA in partnership with Baker McKenzie, KPMG, Macquarie Bank, Toro Digital and The Law Society of England and Wales.

Revenue, expansion outlooks overwhelmingly positive for Aussie legal tech
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