Why LawVu turned down $US10m VC funding for $2.3m

“We had a number of offers from people to do the full round,” Kidd tells The Australian Financial Review.

“The convertible note is something we’d talked about doing when we first started, but then we weren’t in a position to do that.

“If you can get away with it… it makes sense because we wanted to avoid the valuation conversation and we were looking at the traction competitors were getting in the US and knew that would benefit us.”

Undertaking the convertible note while pushing back the larger Series A raise to later this year has given the business sufficient capital to expand further in the US and hire vice-president-level executives who have experience in scaling companies.

The company has hired former Xero CFO and COO Ross Jenkins to lead its board and former Pushpay staff have joined its product team.

Kidd founded the business alongside Tim Boyne in 2015, after a career in online project management companies.

He says he discovered how unstructured the legal industry was when it came to client work, which relied predominantly on Outlook and occasionally Excel.

He says he thought he was being trolled when a lawyer on stage at a conference in Sydney explained to the audience how using Word templates could speed up processes.

After settling on in-house legal teams as its target market, LawVu won Telstra as its first major client and was propelled into the big business market.

“We saw ourselves targeting in-house teams of five to 20, but we got pulled into the enterprise space,” Kidd says.

“The global contract with Telstra really put us on the map. What separated us was the usability of the platform – it’s a sad state of affairs that that’s what differentiated us. But there’s lots of legacy systems and product bloat.

“We kept it simple, easy and intuitive. We can stand up a team in a matter of hours.”

Kidd says one of LawVu’s big advantages is that it targets in-house legal teams, rather than law firms. While law firms are secretive, in-house teams do not compete and regularly share information about what technologies they’re using.

During COVID-19 when the world shifted to remote work, LawVu’s revenue apparently tripled.

“As horrible as a pandemic is, it was a catalyst for our growth,” Kidd says.

“[Until now] for in-house teams a lot just haven’t had the budget to actually invest in tech because they’ve been [seen as] a cost centre and they haven’t had the tools or people to implement it.”