In a recent development set to advance Canada’s legal-tech landscape, Vancouver’s cloud-based legal technology titan, Clio, affirmed financial support for Steno, a burgeoning Los Angeles startup specializing in legaltech.
Steno’s suite of services, ranging from efficient court reporting to litigation support, have positioned it as a frontrunner in legaltech and a prime target for investment.
Steno recently completed a Series B funding round, raking in USD$15M with participation from Le Lane Capital, Touchdown Ventures, and Vancouver-based legaltech pioneer Clio.
This marks the second financial foray for Clio Ventures, after making its investment debut in Proof—an on-demand platform that serves court documents—back in March 2022.
Shubham Datta, the Vice President of Corporate Development at Clio, shares the strategic vision behind Clio Ventures. Established in 2022, its mission was to seek out and invest in organizations that were trailblazing in the realm of legaltech, driving access to justice through innovation.
“When we launched Clio Ventures last year, our goal was to find and fund companies who demonstrated innovative ways technology could improve the legal process and enhance access to justice,” explains Datta, Vice President of Corporate Development at Clio. “With both Proof and Steno joining our ecosystem, weʼre excited to offer our customers access to outsourced litigation support services, directly from within Clio. This will be a game changer for litigators, enabling them to work much more efficiently.”
With Proof and Steno now part of Clio’s orbit, the company can offer more comprehensive litigation support services to its users. This partnership promises to be transformative for litigators, by introducing new efficiencies to their workflow.
“In 2023 and beyond, we will continue to evaluate and prioritize acquisition and investment opportunities that not only add new products and capabilities to Clioʼs offerings, but also align with our mission to transform the legal experience for all,” said Datta. “Accelerating our existing product roadmap allows us to provide products and services that will better serve our clients and their evolving needs.”
The role of court reporting in litigation cannot be overstated, according to Steno. The skill required to use a stenograph—a tool essential for recording and transcribing real-time court proceedings—can be a bottleneck for many legal practitioners.
Steno is making waves in this regard. By providing top-tier stenographic services, they’re making this specialized skill more accessible to the legal community, digitizing a traditionally paper-laden process.
Offering a range of services such as equipment rentals, complex case management, trial preparation services, nationwide conference rooms, and real-time transcript deliveries, Steno is poised to impact the legal support services market.
Greg Hong, Dylan Ruga, and Dan Anderson cofounded Steno in 2018. Their flagship product, DelayPay, enables law firms to defer service costs until their case resolves, solving a long-standing cash flow problem for lawyers.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Clio as a strategic partner during our 2023 expansion,” said Hong. “Building an integration within Clio’s legal practice management platform enables shared customers to access all of their case activities in real time, removing common administrative hurdles and freeing up valuable time for their clients.”
Clio’s foray into Steno isn’t an isolated event but part of a wider pattern of strategic investments. This marks their fifth investment in emerging legal technologies in just half a decade. Clio’s portfolio boasts a multitude of acquisitions, such as CalendarRules and Lawyaw in 2021, and Lexicata (now Clio Grow) in 2018. These investments reflect Clio’s unyielding commitment to streamlining the legal process through technology.
Looking forward, Clio intends to scrutinize investment opportunities that align with its goal of revamping the legal experience, while also enhancing its product offerings. As Datta puts it, Clio is “accelerating our existing product roadmap” to ensure its services meet the evolving needs of its clients.
In March, unicorn Clio celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Since it was founded in 2008, Clio has grown into a global force in legal technology, with 150,000 customers across 100 countries.
“Our goal was to make legal services more accessible and transform the practice of law—15 years later, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come and how much we’ve been able to accomplish,” stated Jack Newton, CEO and Founder of Clio, earlier this year.
“From our early days, we have always believed technology is the key to unlocking a more productive and profitable future for law firms,” Newton said. “And as we celebrate, we remain as committed as ever to our mission—although we’ve made a huge amount of progress over the last 15 years, in so many ways, we feel like we’re just getting started.”
In 2022, Clio announced centaur status—a title reserved for private SaaS companies with more than US$100 million in annual recurring revenue—as well as an expansion into the APAC region.
“Success is a journey, not a destination,” said Newton. “Our goal is to be a 100-year company, and we will continue to evolve to stay at the forefront of legaltech innovation.”
Clio and Steno anticipate launching an integration later this year.
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